Sixers’ rebounding woes, Bynum nearing return

In the Sixers’ 111-99 loss to New Orleans Tuesday night, the team was out-rebounded by a margin of 48-32.

Three of the Sixers’ tallest players (Spencer Hawes, Kwame Brown and Lavoy Allen) managed to pull down a mere four rebounds in a combined 43 minutes played. The Sixers are hoping their rebounding woes will change with the arrival of injured center Andrew Bynum, who is aiming for a return Feb. 15.

“We’ve been feeling him [Bynum] out in terms of him being a teammate and we all think he’s a great guy and a great teammate,” said forward Thaddeus Young. “We love his attitude, we love what he brings to the table and we feel like he’s the guy. He’s that difference-maker and game-changer for us, that we’ve been waiting for.”

Nobody on the team should be more excited for Bynum’s return than Young.

Young, listed as a small forward, has started in all 39 games this season at power forward. At just 6-foot-8, 235 pounds, Young has a severe disadvantage against his opposition on most nights. For example, Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett stands at 6-foot-11, 253 pounds. At 7-foot, 285 pounds, Bynum will provide the missing help Young’s been looking for in the post.

“Me personally, I can’t wait,” said Young about Bynum’s return. “I’m getting excited each and every day. I see him on the court doing stuff, I see him running on the treadmill and I see him in the treatment room … When he’s finally out there standing beside me, and beside the rest of the guys, that feeling’s going to be amazing.”

The Sixers have been out-rebounded in 22 of their 39 games. They are ranked No. 22 in the league in rebounding with 41.4 per game. They rank No. 25 in rebounds allowed at 44 per game.

Rebounding by the numbers

Starting center Lavoy Allen ranks 95th in the NBA in rebounding with 5.1 per game. That’s lower than Thaddeus Young (7.2), Evan Turner (6.7) and Spencer Hawes (5.9). Rookie forward Arnett Moultrie averages just 1.5 rebounds in 5.6 minutes.

Meanwhile, former Sixer Reggie Evans registered 23 rebounds in 27 minutes in a 109-89 Brooklyn win over the Sixers. Former Sixer Nik Vucevic, who was traded to Orlando in the Andrew Bynum deal, pulled down 29 rebounds in a game and averages 11.1 per game.

Where in the world is Bynum?

The Sixers center has dealt with a myriad of setbacks in his rehab, but he intends to be back after the All-Star Break. Here’s Bynum’s recent timeline:

» After Bynum’s knee injections of Synvisc-One in Germany, he was expected to return to practice on Oct. 24.

» On Nov. 12, after an MRI by his doctor, the date for Bynum to return to practice was changed to Dec. 10 because of a bone bruise in his left knee that hadn’t healed properly.

» Just a week later, it was announced that Bynum had re-injured his knees bowling and that he’d be out indefinitely.

» On Jan. 7, Bynum announced that his knees were feeling good and that his return to practice was coming really soon.

» This past Monday, Bynum made his public return to practice and said he expects to be in game shape by Feb. 15.

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