It's been a difficult first half, but hope remains for the Sixers and their season.

Andrew Bynum is taking steps in order to get back on the court for the first time since last season, when he participated in the postseason with the Lakers.

The Sixers are seven games under .500 but only 2 1/2 games behind the eight-seeded Celtics, who lost their all-star point guard Rajon Rongo to a season-ending, torn ACL on Sunday (see story).

Following Saturday's 17-point win over the Knicks, associate head coach Michael Curry, unprovoked, offered his thoughts about a bright, long-term future with Jrue and Drew.

"I think it is good for the organization to have a young guy that can play with Andrew (Bynum) for a long time," Curry said, referring to Holiday's newly acquired all-star status. "That is good for us. That is good for confidence and for bringing guys in in the future -- they want to play with those types of guys. So that is a good step for Jrue and a good step for the organization."

Majority team owner Joshua Harris was in the room as Curry described his hopes for the future. Curry himself had coached on Saturday from the first time out of the third quarter until the conclusion of the game. (Doug Collins had to leave the bench because of a sinus infection.)

Curry continued the Bynum discussion Sunday after the Sixers practice concluded, without Collins present.

"It's encouraging as Andrew is doing more and more work," Curry said.

Bynum ran at a good pace on the antigravity treadmill and performed shooting drills under the guidance of the coaching staff. He's still targeting a return planned around the All-Star break.