Blog Entry

Theory and Proof: Andrew Bynum surprises in debut

Posted on: December 31, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2011 6:57 pm
 
Posted by Ben Golliverandrew-bynum-2012

THEORY: Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum is a prime candidate for a slow start in a lockout and suspension-shortened season.

PROOF: 29 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 1 steal, 13-for-18 shooting in 32 minutes in his debut against the Denver Nuggets. Not exactly what we expected. 

The last time we saw Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum in an NBA game, he had stripped himself half-naked in frustration after getting ejected for delivering a dirty, dangerous hit on Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea.

That day marked the beginning of what would be a long lockout for Bynum, who has dealt with questions about his maturity, his health, his conditioning and his potential use as a trade chip for seven months. 

From the outside looking in, there were reasons galore to expect a slow, sloppy start from Bynum. While fully healthy for the first time entering a season in a few years, Bynum was suspended for the season's first four games due to the hit on Barea, meaning he lacked the first week conditioning ramp up afforded everyone else. He was away from the professional game for seven months, given a two-week period of training camp and preseason and then forced to wait as everyone around him -- teammates and opponents -- continued to progress.

That's just the tip of iceberg. Bynum is dealing with a new coach, Mike Brown, and his new systems. He's dealing with a new rotation surrounding him that lacks forward Lamar Odom, dumped in a trade to the Mavericks. He's playing with the knowledge that his front office nearly blew up the roster to acquire point guard Chris Paul in trade and knowing that he is the No. 1 most desired chip if and when Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith bites the bullet and moves All-Star center Dwight Howard. Of course, Bynum is also dealing with continued scrutiny of his offcourt behavior, which includes a number of recent traffic citations and an embarrasing incident in which he was caught parking in a handicapped spot while grocery shopping.

To complicate things even further, Bynum was set to make his debut against the league's fastest team and highest-octane offense. The Denver Nuggets entered Staples Center on Saturday ranked No. 1 in pace and No. 2 in offensive efficiency. The Lakers, with questions about their lack of depth abounding, were facing a team that lacks top-end starpower but easily goes nine or 10 players deep to continually apply pressure and one that has two big men -- Nene Hilario and Timofey Mozgov -- to bang with Bynum.

But Bynum emerged -- from the layoff, the conditioning questions, the offcourt distractions and the challenging opponent -- as the player of the game on Saturday. He might not be the sole reason this game slowed down and got ugly, allowing the Lakers to eek out a 92-89 win in the game's closing seconds, but he was a big one.

17 of Bynum's 18 field goal attempts came in the paint. Five baskets came on follows or putbacks; 6 of Bynum's 13 rebounds were offensive. He helped L.A. win the points in the paint battle, 46-32, and he managed to stay out of foul trouble throughout. Bynum finished with 29 points, a number he has topped only once in the regular season, a career-high 42 points against the Clippers in January 2009 and he's only attempted 18 shots in a regular season game three other times in his career. Bynum scored L.A.'s first six points -- finishing with 10 in the first quarter -- delivering time-and-again as his team clearly looked to establish him early.

But the defining sequence came late, not early. With just under two minutes to play, the game tied at 89, Bynum swooped in to block a layup attempt by Nene, a swat that quickly led the other way in transition for the Lakers. Bynum sprinted -- have we ever seen him move this fast? -- to the other basket, collecting a pass from Derek Fisher and smoothly converting a layup to put the Lakers up for good. That bucket provided a leading margin that stood despite two long misses, a turnover and a missed free throw attempt from Kobe Bryant in the final two minutes.

The win pushes L.A. above .500, to 3-2, and Bynum's starring role buoys the spirits in Tinseltown, where the trade rumors, the rise of the Clippers and an injured wrist for Bryant have led to a lot of anxiety. Bynum's addition takes much needed pressure off of Bryant and provides insurance against inconsistency from Pau Gasol. The team's three-headed monster is back and looking, for a day, like it never left.

This season debut should help put to bed a lot of the lockout ghosts -- or illusions of ghosts -- for L.A.'s big man. Bynum now must turn his attention to the same problem facing every NBA player: finding a way to make a similar impact, night after night after night, in a compressed schedule that does its players, particularly the big guys, no favors.
Comments

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2012 5:10 pm
 

Theory and Proof: Andrew Bynum surprises in debut

I think we have our center for the future and would not need a trade for anyone to include Howard. I think Bynum is ahead of Howard in offensive ability and perhaps in his ability to block shots.

Keeping Bynum would keep the chemistry of the team in tact and slowly overhauling the team, as oppose to having a garage sale, then waiting a year or two for the team to jell together.  I think Bynum is finally realizing what Kareem has been trying to teach him the last few years. It is finally beginning to get through to him and he is understanding concepts and reasons.

With Bynum we might be able to compete for a NBA title this year and phase in others around him to keep us in the playoff hunt. For the next several years.

Bynum might benefit from the change from the triangle to the pick and roll, in and out system Mike Brown would run. Bynum has more scoring responsibility and decisions to make since he would be touching the ball more in this new system.
 
We know we would need a 2 guard , drafting one or acquiring one through a trade would be good. He could play behind Kobe. We also would need a 1 guard to replace Derek unless Mike Brown think one of the current roster would replace him.  

Howard might have an advantage in the defensive end of the court.

“GO LAKERS”

“ONE MAN’S OPINION “





Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 4:10 pm
 

Theory and Proof: Andrew Bynum surprises in debut

Bynum looked good, a little tired at times but pretty good. Hes getting the shots that Lamar Odom would have been getting if he was still in LA and he made them consistently, Im looking forward to seeing how Bynum does with the added scoring responsibility he now has.



Since: Feb 8, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2011 11:03 pm
 

Theory and Proof: Andrew Bynum surprises in debut

Bynum looked great, he did get gased at a point or two. His return make the Lakers a much better team.


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