Minus Bynum, Collins saw encouraging preseason signs

While preseason records can be as deceiving, Doug Collins said there was a certain aspect that wasn’t. (Kevin Rivoli/AP)

What else was coach Doug Collins supposed to say?

Of course he is disappointed that Andrew Bynum isn’t available to practice due to right knee discomfort.

But the Sixers had to play the entire preseason schedule without him and who knows when he returns in the regular season?

It likely won’t be opening night on Oct. 31 against Denver at the Wells Fargo Center.

Collins was happy with the way the team played during a 6-1 preseason and said at least the Sixers had time to adjust to not playing with Bynum in the lineup.

While preseason records can be as deceiving, Collins said there was a certain aspect that wasn’t.

“We played two to three games where they put guys in to beat us,” he said. “It wasn’t like they punted.”

So the Sixers looked good without Bynum and Collins clearly expects the same to happen in the regular season.

One of the biggest changes in the Sixers was their improved perimeter game. They shot .413 from beyond the arc in the preseason.

Again, don’t put much into preseason statistics, but it showed that whether Bynum is in the lineup or not, players such as Dorell Wright (12 of 25 from three-point territory this preseason) and Nick Young (11-25 from beyond the arc) make this dangerous perimeter team.

So without Bynum, the Sixers are more of a transition and three-point shooting teams. When Bynum returns, the Sixers add the low post element. That’s three different ways to beat teams.

For now the Sixers look like they will start the season without one of those three ways, but this will still be a dangerous team.

The Sixers won’t win six of every seven regular season games but they should capture their share, regardless of when Bynum is able to contribute.