L.A. blew Andrew Bynum up to be the next big thing. Saying that his offense is better that Dwight Howard’s was and is a myth. He’s a good player that gives you a double-double with a couple blocks per game. That’s what you want in a big man and he fills that role, he just isn’t the leader or impact player Howard is. Howard is the most dominant defender in the paint, not only protecting the rim but his presence forces opponents to settle for jumpers. Offensively, Bynum takes too long with the ball, and it’s difficult to draw a play up for someone not in the huddle.
Howard didn’t handle his free agency campaign and trade request like he should have, but that doesn’t change his superiority on the floor. He’s obviously someone Orlando built around, and he has come through with defensive player of the year awards, all star bids, he’s an MVP candidate, and even took the Magic to the finals a couple seasons ago. On the other hand, Bynum was the third or fourth option and that’s when he touched the court.
The Lakers won rings with Pau Gasol as the second option. With Howard reportedly not wanting to come to L.A., Bynum has one foot out the door, we saw Lamar Odom get traded as an all star and sixth man of the year for a trade exception, I’m worried about the direction of the franchise under Jim Buss. It’s still summertime and early, but Steve Nash is an uptempo player surrounded by a half-court supporting cast. Gasol can get up and down the floor a little bit, you know the pick and roll offense will be allusive, but this squad isn’t built to maximize the Nash acquisition. Last time I checked they won without an elite point guard, so although Nash is a great player especially for draft picks, I’m not sold that this team is a legit title contender right now.
Back to the bigs, Bynum is what he is so you can remove the “potential” label from him. He is an elite second that will play his role and give you that occasional game where he takes over. That’s great, any team in the league will take a 7-footer with those abilities, the L.A. hype got carried away as usual. And no, Bynum doesn’t display the plethora of moves Howard shows with consistency. Howard is more fluid so his spin moves down low result in dunks. Bynum hasn’t done half the up-and-under moves that Howard does, and the only thing Bynum does exceptionally better is he knocks down free throws. Which is a big deal, so kudos to him but he isn’t going to stay here when it’s all said and done.
The Lake Show will be fun to watch, led by their future Hall of Fame back court. Hopefully Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash stay healthy at their respective ages and don’t start to feel the wear and tear. There’s 3 things to keep your eye on from this point forward: Bynum’s mentality and play throughout his contract situation, Howard’s back recovery , and Jim Buss running the Lakers. Los Angeles usually makes moves , and they still have work to re-enter the championship picture. With that said, I don’t trust Mike Brown nor Jim Buss, but it’s hard not to trust the Black Mamba. I just don’t think they have enough shooting to spread the court, the bench is still so-so, and the window of opportunity is closing until a blockbuster deal goes down.