Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The majority of the news coverage around the Philadelphia 76ers in the offseason was the acquisition of center Andrew Bynum, but through the middle of January the former Los Angeles Lakers big man has yet to take the floor.
Which explains why the Sixers are struggling at 17-24 midway through their season.
But the season hasn't been a complete bust as the team continues to see its 2009 first-round selection (17th overall), Jrue Holiday, flourish in the role as team leader.
Last season, Holiday played well, averaging 13.5 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists per game and 1.6 steals per game, but in most "big" situations he deferred to veteran Andre Iguodala.
Iguodala is gone, however, having been moved in the offseason to Denver as part of the four-way, 12-player deal that brought Bynum to the "City of Brotherly Love."
So Holiday is the "man," at least until Bynum shows he can play.
Holiday has improved his numbers virtually across the board. He's averaging 19.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 8.9 apg while shooting a career-best 45.8 percent from the field. Those are certainly All-Star worthy statistics.
Need more convincing?
Holiday and Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook are the only players in the league averaging at least 18 points and eight assists per game. Rajon Rondo didn't make the list and neither did Chris Paul, Deron Williams or Tony Parker.
Holiday is currently ranked just 37th overall in my Yahoo league. That's lower than one would expect, but probably due to a high turnover rate (3.9 per game) and average 3-point shooting (.368). Over the past two weeks, he's ranked No. 3 at the point guard position behind Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving.
Holiday could certainly improve on his numbers as the season goes on if Bynum comes back as expected. The Sixers have no real inside game at the moment, forcing Holiday and the team's perimeter players to be more aggressive than is probably recommended. The return of Bynum could loosen up the outside for Holiday & Co., not to mention the added assists with a few easy lobs to the big man.
Fantasy owners who don't currently have Holiday on their roster should make an attempt to add him via the trade as he's likely to get better after the All- Star break.
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