Rodgers Report: Growing Legend (Bynum)

Rodgers Report: Growing Legend (Bynum)

Postby trodgers on Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:47 am

Growing Legend
Andrew Bynum has played nearly 300 games over five seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has won a title, has a massive contract, and has been garnering attention as a potential perennial All-Star. Yet he has not put together a complete season in the NBA. After a big Game 5 against the Thunder, things could change.

As a rookie, Bynum played sparingly, averaging 1.6 points, 1.7 boards, and shooting just 40%. His playoff experience was limited to two minutes in a blowout elimination loss. He missed his only shot. Typical production from a Phil Jackson-coached rookie, to be sure, but just as surely, it was unfulfilling for Bynum.

Bynum's second season saw a complete regular season (82 games) with averages of 7.8 points and 5.9 boards, on 56% shooting. Huge strides from season one. The postseason was a huge disappointment, however, as Bynum averaged just 11 minutes per game, averaged 4 points, 4.6 boards, and played more than 15 minutes just once (in a blowout loss). Regular season progress is great, but the Lakers measure success in terms of banners, and in terms of the effort required to raise it to the rafters.

The 2007-08 season was Bynum's regular season breakout. He nearly doubled his averages from the previous season, in just seven more minutes per contest. He averaged a double double with 13.1 points, 10.2 boards, and shot a ridiculous 64% from the field. Coming off a monstrous 25-point, 17-rebound performance against the Bucks, Bynum was injured, narrowly missing a double double against the Grizzlies. More disappointingly, the injury forced Bynum to miss the remainder of the regular season and the duration of the playoffs, which included a blowout elimination loss against the Celtics. LA fans finally witnessed what the giant was capable of, but they were denied seeing it at the highest stage.

Last season, Bynum averaged 14.3 points and 8.0 rebounds, shot 56%, and again missed significant regular season time. He returned, however, for the playoffs, but was clearly not the player who had averaged roughly a double double for the past two seasons. Limited by injuries, conditioning, and foul concerns, averaged 17.4 minutes, 6.3 points, 3.7 boards, and shot 46%. Bynum scored in double figures five times, topping out at 14. He walked away with a ring, but he had to be disappointed by his inability to put together a successful regular season with a successful postseason.

This regular season saw Bynum's highest scoring average, at 15 per contest. He added 8.3 boards and shot 57%. Despite missing 17 games, Bynum established career highs in minutes, points, and rebounds. Then the postseason came. Lakers fans may be surprised to know that Bynum had zero postseason double doubles entering the series against Oklahoma City. He now has four in five games, including a 21-point, 11-rebound effort in Game 5. As things stand, Bynum is averaging 30.2 minutes, 13.2 points, 10.0 boards, and is shooting 58%. The postseason has already been Bynum's best overall. This could be the arrival of the beast Lakers fans have been waiting for since The Big Aristotle went MIA. A double double average in the playoffs from a young seven foot center plus a championship could go a long way toward making Buss feel good about the millions he has invested in this team. And it could certainly make the Lakers faithful forget that other guy.
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Re: Rodgers Report: Growing Legend (Bynum)

Postby Lakerjones on Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:28 am

The two things that have made me the happiest about Andrew this post season have been his hunger and his improved defense. The scoring is almost a given - as long as we actually pass it to the guy in the post. He's turned up his intensity from the second half of the season on. It sucked to see him go down to injury but he's made a great recovery this year and came back with fire instead of being tentative.
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Re: Rodgers Report: Growing Legend (Bynum)

Postby ShaqDieselLaker on Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:41 am

Nice work trodgers! It gives us great perspective on the growth of this young Center. As mentioned before, I think this kid has Robert Parish (HOF) potential in addition to a great offensive pedigree. Getting into the championship rounds at such a young age and working with some of the best players in the business, like young Kobe and Fisher before him, will be a boon for this franchise. That championship mentality is forming and once you have it, it's like an addiction: every season is championship or bust.
Derek Fisher is the heart and soul of this team- Kobe(Black Mamba)
When we win it, it's going to taste much sweeter knowing I played with the injury- Andrew(Lionheart)
Tomorrow is another opportunity to accomplish great things- Pau(Pauwer)
Ron Artest is the Game 7 MVP- Phil(Zen Master)
Q:Pierce says series isn't coming back to LA? A: [Mean Stare]- Derek(President)
If we don't win the championship, it's my fault- Ron(Tru Warier)
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Re: Rodgers Report: Growing Legend (Bynum)

Postby revgen on Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:53 pm

I think "growing legend" is a bit too early. I think "growing presence" is more accurate.

The injuries have stunted his growth signifantly, but he's coming back and his game has even evolved, especially defensively. Some have compared his defensive play to the shotblocking he was doing in 2007-2008. He shows similar activitiy, but in 2007-2008 he jumped at everything without measuring. He's reads much better now and doesn't jump at everything that goes up which allows him to stay on the floor. His rebounding on the offensive side is also much improved, so he's no longer butting heads with Odom or Turiaf for defensive rebounds like he was 3 years ago to get double-figure rebounds.
"Every time he’s hurt, he always plays, he always comes through."

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Re: Rodgers Report: Growing Legend (Bynum)

Postby mamatheregoesthatman on Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:17 am

trodgers wrote:This could be the arrival of the beast Lakers fans have been waiting for since The Big Aristotle went MIA.


I hope so. Great read on Drew, trodgers, thanks. :jam2:
Thanks for the sig, Jr. Kobe.

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Re: Rodgers Report: Growing Legend (Bynum)

Postby batibati44 on Thu May 27, 2010 10:51 pm

Hmmm growing legend... u think he will be better than shaq like he said he would?
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Re: Rodgers Report: Growing Legend (Bynum)

Postby trodgers on Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:08 pm

batibati44 wrote:Hmmm growing legend... u think he will be better than shaq like he said he would?

No, I don't. I don't know how close it would be, to be honest.

Incidentally, he has nearly posted bests in all statistics this playoffs, but as the knee injury continues to slow him, those big averages have fallen to 9 and 8. Those are still bests in the playoffs for him, but they're disappointing. Again.
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Re: Rodgers Report: Growing Legend (Bynum)

Postby Eveland on Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:24 pm

This is one area where Oden and Bynum have in common, good promising centers shut down by injuries.

Just imagine if both were healthy and playing up to their potential?
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Re: Rodgers Report: Growing Legend (Bynum)

Postby trodgers on Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:03 pm

^ Agreed about Oden. I feel bad for him because he was such a best in college, but he has played almost zip in the NBA. I'd take Bynum any day. He has earned a big contract, and has put in a lot of good work already.
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