HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We’re a couple of days early on the Dwight Howard–Andrew Bynum matchup that will take place Friday in Orlando. But we couldn’t help ourselves. It’s one of the more anticipated matchups of this young season.
For once, we’re going to get a heavyweight matchup between the two best big men in the league when there is no debate about them being the two best.
Lakers fans have been waiting years for Bynum to get to this level, he’s averaging 16.5 points, 13.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, Howard’s level, according to some.
While the rest of us will spend time before, during and after comparing the two, Bynum has already taken the high road, as Andy Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com reported:
“I don’t make any comparisons,” insisted Bynum at the Lakers practice facility in El Segundo on Tuesday. “The guy is definitely more proven … so for myself, I always look up to him and want to be able to get the ball and do the things he does with it. I think I learn a lot from watching him play, the way he rim-runs, and gets low and things like that. It’s a fun game.”
There are others (Shaq) willing to anoint Bynum as the big man playing the best ball in the league right now.
“He’s the only big man in the league playing like a true big man,” the big fella said.
Luckily, Bynum isn’t ready to go there just yet. The fact that he’s willing to show Howard the sort of respect he does is actually refreshing (not to mention sensible, given Howard’s dominance in their individual matchups and against the Lakers over the years).
It will also make Friday night’s head-knocking that much more interesting, given that Bynum is finally playing at the elite level most folks knew he could, and doing it consistently.
But if Bynum’s name indeed belongs in the same breath as Howard’s, we’ll get our first real glimpse of proof Friday night.