Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Andrew Bynum

I think ardent Bynum supporters are irrationally coddling a player without the basketball acumen he needs that will not come with time. Footwork can be taught in part, but awkwardness can't be removed. He doesn't have a nose for rebounding, you can't learn how to. Writers continually mock his vertical, as he doesn't seem to have one, or doesn't use it. Please find me the last time a decent center got 1 rebound in 16 minutes of play.

I was reluctant with praise after Game 1 for the kid because I didn't get caught up in the 25-point win and wanted to dig deeper on the defense played on Howard. I gave as much credit as most of the media gave Bynum after Game 1 in terms of presence and patrolling the paint, just in more tempered terms, while recognizing that Pau had more to do with Howard's difficulties (2 offensive fouls). You didn't mention the things that Pau did and chose to defend Bynum when I wasn't attacking him, rather just downplaying his success which I thought was going overboard.

My analysis after Game 1 was that the media needs to relax about Howard's 1 field goal, because his game wasn't THAT bad when you looked at it closer. And in turn, the praise for Bynum reduces as we realize Howard did a little better than the media was portraying. That isn't reluctant, it's just prudent. To not get carried away with praise when he was the majority of the reason Howard got 16 free throws. Sure he played good D some plays, but he fouled a lot as well (which is what he is supposed to do).

He didn't earn that 12 and 15 stat line for Howard on his own at all, and I would argue he contributed to the 12 points from Game 1 more than either Gasol or Odom, because he committed more of the shooting fouls proportionally to the time he played Howard versus the other two.

In a per-minute analysis or a per-touch analysis for Howard, I will bet you that Odom and Gasol would fare better in points allowed, rebounds allowed, and fouls given to Howard in Game One and ridiculously so in Game Two.

He needs to make Howard work harder for his boards when he is on the court.

My criticism after Game 2 should be brutal. So should yours. 16 minutes, 5 points, 5 fouls, 1 rebound, 2-5. For a 7 footer who is due to earn 60+ million? I don't even have to say anything. The STAT LINE itself is brutal.

Excuses like youth, injury, and needing time to develop are bogus. If he wants to make demands through the media and criticize the most winningest coach of all-time, he should only do so if he is ready. If he isn't ready because of whatever reason, he should "just shut up".

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