Tag:Andrew Bynum
Posted on: October 12, 2010 1:28 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 4:22 pm
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Kobe may not be ready for season opener

Phil Jackson says Lakers star may not be ready for season opener.
Posted by Matt Moore


So far, the talk about Kobe Bryant's knee, still recovering from knee surgery, has been very academic. Sure, he has surgery on it. Yeah, he's only about 60% on it right now. But the discussions haven't actually involved games that count, games that matter. But Phil Jackson is aware that the regular season is only two weeks away. And in dealing with that information has lead him to start wondering if the Finals MVP is going to be ready to go. The LA Times reports that Jackson is "unsure" of how ready Bryant will be when the season starts. This is in addition to the fact that there's no way Andrew  Bynum will be good to go. Bynum has said it may be December before he's back.

Bryant is the obvious more crucial component in all this. The Lakers are a stunningly talented team (which makes you wonder why everyone's so upset with all the talent on the Heat considering Lamar Odom is the Lakers' freaking sixth man), but they're also driven by a very hard iron glove from Bryant offensively. He is the start and end of most Lakers possessions. Without him, the triangle has to evolve into something different, even with Pau Gasol as the low corner and a multitude of wings available to take the third wing's spot. This team should be good enough to roll teams without Bryant, and did so last year. But there's still a level of adjustment, and an even greater one when Bryant returns.

All of this is moot because it's October. Bryant can miss the entire first month of the season, or more, and still have time for the Lakers to get back and claim the top spot in the West. It's really just a matter of how much time they'll have to coast at the end of the year. And with all the injuries and Lamar Odom having played for Team USA in FIBA this summer, Jackson may elect to simply let go of the top spot in the West and simply make the playoffs, then assert themselves. Winning every regular season game is the farthest thing from Jackson's mind. Fifty or better and they should be in, and with Pau Gasol, Ron Artest, Odom, Derek Fisher, new additions Matt Barnes and Steve Blake, that number's doable in Jackson's sleep.

The only fear in Jackson's mind has to be if eventually Bryant's body which has been stunningly durable over the past two years will give out. And that's not something Jackson even wants to begin to think about, let alone Kobe. Then again, why worry when Bryant's shown he's willing to work harder, fight harder, do whatever is necessary to succeed?



Posted on: October 4, 2010 11:44 am
 

The Andrew Bynum injury portfolio

Lakers center probably out till December, continues history of injury recovery struggles. Posted by Matt Moore

Hey there, reader. Listen, I some news to tell you. You should sit down. No, really, you should be sitting when you hear this news. I don't want your legs to give out (fittingly) when you hear this. The shock may be too much to bear. There, now. That's better. Okay, are you ready?

Andrew Bynum is pushing back his comeback date. I know, I know. It hit us all. News like that just comes out of nowhere and the surprise can be hard on the heart...

I'll stop now.

Like we gave you a heads up on in the Shootaround , Bynum spoke to reporters and pushed back his comeback to mid-December. This only days after saying November was the target . It's a typical development for Bynum, when you look back at his history.

Bynum was first injured in January of 2008, and was supposed to be out two months . Then he was not going to be back for the playoffs. Then he was . Then not so much . Then definitely not so much . Then he had more surgery .

Then he took a nap.
.
Then he was totally going to be back the next season. Totally. Well, okay, maybe not right on schedule . Then he had a birthday party , yay! Then he came back and looked like he was worth the hype. Then he signed a massive contract extension , making him one of the highest paid players on a team full of All-Stars and future Hall-of-Famers.

Then, he got hurt, again , this time with a torn MCL . He was supposed to be back in March from this one, then it got pushed to April . Then he finally came back in the 2009 playoffs, but could only play limited minutes. But hey, helped win them a title, so who cares? Celebrate!

Then he famously stopped working out with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a move that was criticized at the time, but given Kareem's lack of toughness and prickly personality, probably wasn't a bad idea. Next, Bynum had to have his knee drained in the playoffs, but, and this should be stressed, he toughed it out and helped the Lakers win a back-to-back title. He dragged that leg around though he was playing on turned out to be a slight tear, played hard, and helped the Lakers' size overwhelm their opponents. This summer, he had another surgery after he delayed it so he could go on vacation.

So what are we looking at, here? Long story short, we've got a very young kid who's shown to a. be a very slow healer and b. have a very poor work ethic. Don't take my word for it, Ask Tex Winter . The first account is something Bynum could help or should be criticized for. You can't get your body to heal faster. But you can put it in the best position to heal and bounce back as strong as you need to, and that's where Bynum struggles. He famously sloughed off the Lakers' doctors for his own. Now, that's actually probably a good idea, considering that training staff doesn't have a great history with knee injuries. But when your other doctor manages to need multiple surgeries, and you have continuing issues with recovery? There are going to be questions.

Bynum has yet to hit an initial return date. There is a history of problematic recovery issues, on knees that have had multiple surgeries. To call him injury-prone at this point is an understatement.

The good news is that the Lakers can be patient with Bynum. They have enough talent and size on that roster that even if Bynum can only give them limited minutes for years, that's fine. The question is if after this championship dynasty is over and Kobe Bryant bids a fond farewell, if Bynum will then be in a position to deserve the extension he signed. Maybe this is the last bump in the road. Maybe he'll prove to be a dominant NBA center night in and night out this season. But if he does, he'll be slipping out of a well-established history of recovery issues. It's not fair, but it's what it is.
Posted on: October 4, 2010 9:39 am
Edited on: October 4, 2010 9:42 am
 

Shootaround 10.4.10: Bynum pushes himself back

Posted by Royce Young
  • Andrew Bynum doesn't heal fast. He now says he's out until at least December. But Phil Jackson isn't so sure: "He's been saying that," Jackson said. "I don't know why he's talking about December. He can get weight-bearing activities started at the end of this month. Can you play in two weeks [after that]? Can you play in three weeks? Four weeks puts you at the end of November. So let's just let it happen and not talk about what the timing is."
  • Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post: "It is known that Carmelo Anthony wants to be traded to a big market, in efforts to both win a title and maximize his marketability. Sources previously said he was interested in going to New Jersey, a franchise that will move to Brooklyn in a couple of years. Anthony, who has never gone public with his demands, was asked about his marketing prowess, and he said: 'As far as marketing, it comes from winning. If I ain't winning, then nobody wants me to market their product.' So he was asked: 'Then why would you want to play for the team that won 12 games last season?' Anthony then said: 'I never said I want to play for the Nets.'"
  • Tom Martin of The Dream Shake with a terrific post on Houston's window: "It's too hard to win a championship to get all bent out of shape when that wish doesn't come true. Be patient. Let the pieces fall into place, however long that may take. And for now, hope for a miracle, because if the Rockets get lucky - if they stay healthy and play up to their potential - then it may not take a transaction for all of the pieces to come together. Their luck may not lie in finding an outside source. That's not predictable, but it could happen. They might just have everything they need, right here. Maybe."
  • The first preseason games were yesterday with the Knicks and Nets both playing. Amar'e Stoudemire dropped 32 in his first appearance with New York as the Knicks beat Milano 125-113. New Jersey beats Maccabi Haifa 108-70 behind 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench for rookie Derrick Favors.
  • Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News on Favors' performance: "If you weren’t excited enough about Derrick Favors’ 14-point, nine-rebound performance tonight, this postgame quote should be all the convincing you need: 'I’d say it was an okay day,' Favors said, without a hint of arrogance, following the 108-70 victory over Maccabi Haifa. Okay? In his first professional game, Favors took eight shots and made six of them. His first shot was an alley-oop dunk. His second shot was a dunk. His third shot was a dunk. He attacked the rim with reckless efficiency, providing a spark and energy to an otherwise listless game. His most impressive dunk didn’t count: the 19-year-old jumped OVER a Maccabi Haifa player on the baseline but was called for a charge. 'It’s all good,' Favors said. If this trade for Carmelo Anthony fizzles completely, Favors will be the youngest player in team history. It’s not a bad way to build a wining franchise."
Posted on: September 25, 2010 4:50 pm
 

Andrew Bynum says he hopes to play by December

Posted by Royce Young

Andrew Bynum has battled injuries througout his short NBA career. But every time, he's come back and wowed Laker fans - and NBA fans in general for that matter - with his power and skill around the basket.

But it looks like people will have to wait until sometime around Thanksgiving to see it in action again.

Bynum said at Laker media availability that he hopes to return to the floor by late November. Why the long recovery on a simple cartilage issue? Bynum's doctor reattached the busted cartilage in his knee instead of snipping it off as a long-term career planning move. Thus the longer time needed for recovery. Supposedly, Bynum's knee should be stronger than before.

Any time you're seven feet tall and carrying around 280 or so pounds, staying healthy is an issue. Big men tend to battle leg and foot injuries throughout their careers and Bynum is no different (fighting obligitory mention of Greg Oden... fighting it...). Though most times, these type of things don't start catching up to guys until the later stages of their careers. But for Bynum, at age 23, he's already sustained two big blows to his knees.

This current injury is from a torn meniscus that he fought through for almost the entire 2010 postseason title run. He wasn't himself, but still, he was at least on the floor. Before that, in the 2007-08 season he broke his kneecap and missed most of the season and the entire postseason. Then in 2009, he injured his right knee and missed most of the remainder of the regular season before returning for the playoffs and championship run.

Bynum played in all 82 games in 2006-07, but other than that, the most he's played in was last season with 65. But when he's on the floor (and healthy), he's a force.

What does this mean for the Lakers? Being the stacked team that they are, not much. Bynum is of course an important piece to the puzzle, but in November, the Lakers can survive without him. Lamar Odom proved in Turkey that he's more than capable of spending time on the inside and that could be the path Phil Jackson chooses to go with. Or move Pau Gasol to center and Odom play the 4. Offseason signee Theo Ratliff could also be called upon if Jackson just prefers to keep his rotations the same.

The point is, the Lakers will be fine. As usual, they've got the necessary pieces and talent to get by a month without Bynum. And besides, the only time the Lakers really care about Bynum's health is at the end of the season, not the beginning.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 9:32 am
 

Shootaround 9.24.10: The best players rated

Posted by Royce Young
  • Bill Plaschke of the LA Times on Andrew Bynum's latest injury: "The last time a Lakers big man did something so medically dumb, it was Shaquille O'Neal refusing to fix his toe until just before the 2002-03 training camp, claiming: "I got hurt on company time, so I'll heal on company time." Two underachieving seasons later, he was on Miami time, traded because owner Jerry Buss decided he wasn't worth the trouble. Interestingly, the guaranteed part of Bynum's contract expires in two seasons, at which point Buss will have to make the same sort of decision. At this rate, maybe he shouldn't even wait that long. How can Andrew Bynum be the Lakers' future if you can't count on him today?"
  • Chris Mannix of SI on the Warriors move yesterday: "It's not like Lacob had many alternatives, either. Jeff Van Gundy isn't leaving the ABC booth for the Warriors and it's a little late in the game to be dialing up Lawrence Frank and Sam Mitchell too. Plus Smart, who Lacob told Bay Area reporters will receive a multi-year contract, comes cheap. If it doesn't work out this year the team can always cut ties after the season. But with Nelson gone, the Warriors can finally look towards the future without being encompassed by the shadow of the past. A new era has begun in Golden State and let's face it, it can't be much worse than the last."
  • Tim Kawakami on the end of the Don Nelson era: "Nelson just couldn't win anymore. And it became clear that he stopped caring, too. That is how Nelson morphed himself into the Cohan Culture, with spot moments of success amid long periods of massive distress and political intrigue. I don't know how the Lacob era will turn out. Maybe well, maybe more seasons of failure. But Lacob knew that had to start by moving Don Nelson aside -- and all his eccentricities and feuds and controversies along with him. Nelson wasn't the worst thing about the Warriors. But he was, in the end, the most visible and corrosive influence on the players and fans. By cleaning him out, Lacob creates a fresher Warriors climate and a brand new era."
Posted on: September 23, 2010 10:23 am
Edited on: September 23, 2010 10:34 am
 

Shootaround 9.23.10: Heat block party blocked

Heat have a block party blocked, Parker may be on the way out, Howard hates the Heat, and the lockout's going to suck, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore
  • The Heat had planned this big ol' block party to celebrate the opening of the NBA season in Miami. It was a very exciting idea, and Miami does this sort of thing pretty regularly (Zo's Summer Bash being one relatively similar example). But with the police union organizing to protest the event over budget cuts made to their salaries, and with the immense number of logistical issues involved, the plan is on hold . Allow me to add my name to those who think this is a totally whacko idea. Outside of the sheer intensity of a Friday night party outside the arena and the number of safety and security issues at play here, you've also got a pragmatic issue for the Heat. The Miami Triad will be expected to make an appearance at this event, and that's going to take them away from pre-game preparation for their home opener, against a divisional opponent who they have a pretty good chance of seeing in the playoffs. This is not a game you want to slough off right out of the gate. Definitely check the link for some tasty quotes from the mayor that involve the word "party."
  • Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News reports that if the Spurs don't look like they'll be contending for a title at the trade deadline, they'll move Tony Parker. Which is kind of a bombshell, in that every public indication from the Spurs has been a steadfast commitment to keeping Parker long-term. But the astounding volume of rumors suggesting his eventual move to New York do have to come somewhere, and can't survive solely on the whims of New York's admittedly powerful (and often nutball) media. 
  • In an interview with Sports Illustrated 's Dan Patrick, Dwight Howard said he'd rather have Kevin Durant than LeBron James. Why is this particularly relevant? Mostly because it's an indicator that a. Kevin Durant is at that level among his peers already and b.) Dwight Howard really, really, really hates all the attention the Heat are getting. We'll have more on this later today. 
  • You know what's amazing? No, not that Andrew Bynum put off surgery which has now affected the odds of him being available for training camp and opening night. No, what's amazing is that writers are surprised by this kind of behavior. Bynum has missed nearly every deadline he's had for the past three seasons in recovering from various injuries. Some of that isn't his fault, the body heals as the body heals, But he's never been known was a hardcore worker, with Tex Winter being a vocal and public critic of his .
  • David Stern told Gilbert Arenas not to discuss the gun incident that lead to his suspension last year. The bossman says to put it all behind him. Seems like a good idea, but if I'm Stern, I want every reminder presented to Arenas that he needs to walk the line. This is not a man who seems like the kind to learn from past mistakes. 
  • From the Department of Black Kettles, Phil Jackson says "teamwork wins, not talent." Bear in mind this is from the guy who has only won his titles in huge markets playing with the most dominant players of their respective eras, including the greatest of all time.  Really, Phil? Because the last time we checked, you're not exactly all about equal parts overcoming the whole. Or maybe that's just what you saw in 2004 when the Pistons took down the mega-Lakers. 
Posted on: September 7, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Pop Quiz: How will the All-Star Game look?

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...



What will the All-Star Game look like?


Los Angeles. City of Angels. Home of the back-to-back NBA champions, the legendary LA Lakers. And in February, home of the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. It's going to be ridiculous, it's going to be over-the-top (more so than even your normal All-Star Game). It's going to be expensive. Really, really expensive. It will also be interesting as next year there are likely to be big changes in the All-Star Game. So what exactly is that game going to look like?

It's difficult to predict, obviously, who will be participating in the game. Even more so than any other episode of predicting the future, there are so many factors that can play into who makes it. Not only things like injuries, team downturns, unexpected rises, and trades, but the popularity contest of the voting system. But there are some things we can examine the possibility of.

For starters, with Amar'e Stoudemire headed to New York, there's a spot down low for the West. You can slide in Tim Duncan, because he's like Johnny Cash. Steady like a freight train, sharp like a razor. Pau Gasol's another lock, as many think he's the best power forward in the league right no w. From there, you've got Zach Randolph and Chris Kaman as the other two bigs from last year's squad. Kaman's unlikely to return with the addition of Blake Griffin, and Randolph's success is tied to an inconsistent Grizzlies team. Meanwhile, Yao Ming returns from injury and will most likely look like a legitimate contender for the starting spot.

But what about Andrew Bynum? We've been waiting for Bynum to live up to his potential for three seasons, and he's constantly referred to as one of the best centers in the league, despite his numerous injury issues. With the Lakers getting older, and Bynum supposedly healthier than he has been in years, Bynum has to be considered a strong contender not just for the backup position, but possibly as a starting center (which would put Tim Duncan at power forward, where he belongs).

Speaking of Duncan, he and Dirk Nowitzki are headed down the stretch and it'll be important to note that one of them is going to take a step backwards. Age demands it. And though Duncan is widely considered the best power forward of all time by those that consider him a power forward, he's most likely to have the dropoff. You saw it at times last season. The writing isn't on the wall, but there's a pen by the chalkboard. Bear in mind we're talking about inches below the greatness he's always provided, but it might be enough with a rising Bynum to shove either him or Dirk out of the starting lineup. And that will just be weird.

This is all before we start trying to figure out the point guards in the West. Steve Nash showing no signs of slowing down. Chris Paul back to full health. Deron Williams healthy with Al Jefferson beside him and more of the offensive load. Tyreke Evans, out of the rookie well and into the general pool. Russell Westbrook, possibly coming on as one of the better slide and dice guards in the league on a team that looks poised to make a run. Stephoe Curry, a rookie of the year runner-up with another season under him and a license to score. This likely means Jason Kidd will not be returning to the team for the 11th time in his career.

And oh, yeah, Kobe will be back in the starting spot. No "probably." He will be.

In the East? Well, the Miami Triad was formed from guys in the East, so they're likely to stay. Even with a downturn in production from sharing the ball, all three should be locks, though it's hard to see Bosh making the starting spot as he was a reserve last season. Amar'e Stoudemire could wind up knocking Kevin Garnett out of the starting spot which would be another changing of the guard. But a more likely scenario is Joe Johnson being unable to reach the starting spot again and moving into the reserve spot as the East looks like the West from last year: four bigs and a guard (Dwyane Wade). Which will be disappointing considering Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo's existence, both of whom are probable to return as starters.

Carlos Boozer, freed from the big-heavy West, may be able to work his way into a spot, and Paul Pierce may be on the bubble. If Andrew Bogut returns healthy, he could complicate matters, along with Brandon Jennings. Basically, point guards are going to massively complicate these rosters.

Sure, some of these players are going to go down to injury, others will have downturn seasons. But there's a strong indication that this might be a year of big changes in the All-Star Game, both with starting rosters and the reserve spots.

But the parties will be awesome regardless.
Posted on: July 29, 2010 4:17 pm
 

Andrew Bynum has surgery

Posted by Matt Moore

Andrew Bynum underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair a torn miniscus in his right knee. According to the LA Times , his doctor reported he "found nothing surprising." I'm assuming this means that the procedure went well, and not that he uncovered a massive conspiracy regarding the Freemasons or unicorns or something.

Bynum's expected to be back well before training camp starts. That's a familiar story for LA fans, who saw Bynum miss about thirty deadlines in 2008 and 2009. But Bynum's play during the Finals on that torn meniscus has to give some confidence that he's developing a toughness, even as they have to be thankful the tear didn't become more severe.

Bynum is a bigger part of the Lakers' championship run than is usually mentioned. While Kobe Bryant is reason A, Pau Gasol reason B, and Phil Jackson Reason C, all those reasons are rendered moot if the Lakers don't have the gaping size advantage. Teams in the Western Conference aren't stocking up on Kobe-stoppers (or those unicorns we mentioned, either, since neither exist), or players to stretch the floor against Gasol. They're all aiming to improve on the length the Lakers bring. Bynum, alongside Gasol's seven feet and Odom's length at small forward, creates a Sequiiah forest that offenses have to try and pass through.
Bynum needs to recover and get back for training camp. Any delay and whispers will start that this is another case of Bynum missing deadlines for rehab. It's not just a matter of the body healing, his history has been complicated by a pattern of slouching on rehab according to sources close to the Lakers and failing to commit to a healthy return. Hasn't stopped him from partying at the Playboy Mansion , of course.

Then again, it's no Tao.
 
 
 
 
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