When he’s all business, Bynum works





SAN ANTONIO – George Mikan, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Andrew Bynum.

Those are the five Lakers who have pulled down 30 rebounds in a single game. Those are also the five reasons that Bynum’s flake-out over the past few weeks has been so frustrating.

For one, the 24-year-old center has the potential to be the driving force behind another deep run for the Lakers in the playoffs this season. For another, he could be the anchor for the next Lakers’ dynasty.

Bynum grabbed 30 boards, which was a career high for him and the best rebounding game in the NBA this season, on Wednesday night in a 98-84 whipping of the Spurs. He didn’t merely dominate the boards, he devoured them. At halftime he had 19 rebounds to just 18 by the entire San Antonio team. By the fourth quarter, the Lakers had built a 26-point lead.

They did it all without Kobe Bryant, who missed his third straight game due to an inflammation in his left shin.

They did it because Metta World Peace turned back the clock to his old Ron Artest days, dialing up 5-for-8 from behind the 3-point line for 26 points, because Pau Gasol went for 21 points and 11 rebounds and Matt Barnes came off the bench for 13 points.

“We always want Kobe on the floor with us, but with or without him, we’re always a tough matchup for a lot of teams because of our size,” said Gasol.

The Lakers are always a tough matchup for anybody when Bynum is attacking the boards, defending the paint and making life miserable for the opposition instead for his own team with his sometimes strange behavior. There were no ill-conceived 3-pointers in this one, no technical fouls, no snits away from the huddle. Just a big man playing big.

“It’s great to have 30 boards, but my shot’s, not working and I’m kind of a little upset about that,” Bynum said. “For me, I’ll remember shooting poorly (7-for-20).”

The Lakers need Bynum to continue playing big down the stretch in a frantic race for playoff positioning. They are currently in the No. 3 spot, but are up by only one game in the loss column on the Clippers and Grizzlies. They are a team that has never completely come together all season. Their longest win streak has been five games. Yet things can come together on certain nights to make them look formidable.

“We always have a good chance to go to The Finals, because we have three players that command double-teams,” Bynum said. “If we get the rest of the players to buy in, we move the ball and knock down the shots. We always have a chance.”

Mikan, Baylor, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, Bynum. On nights when he proves that he belongs on that list, that’s often more than you can say for Laker opponents.

20 Comments

  1. Stan says:

    Shaq knows Centers and he says Bynum is the best big man in the game today… I have to agree. When Bynum is healthy he is by far the tuffest matchup for anyone in the NBA. Bynum is taught by the best and learned from Kareem how to score around the basket. He has all the tools to be one of the greats like Wilt and Kareem. No reason he can’t get 4 more rings to go with the 2 he already has. Bynum is the man now for the Lakers and Kobe will have to share the ball more if the Lakers want to win.

  2. anonymous says:

    Bynum vs. Rondo. 30 vs. 20. Big man vs. Point Guard. Who wins? Well, which is it? Which stat is more impressive? The answer is…

    To read more go to http://www.nbathroughmyveins.wordpress.com

  3. is byunm better then howard of magic?

  4. Butchdl says:

    Been behind Bynum since he was drafted. Jabbar trained him and it looks to me like he is emulating Jabbar in preserving his body for the playoffs. I’m old enough to remember Jabbar being mocked for taking it easy in the regular season and jogging downcourt. Bynum is 24 and immature, just as Kobe was, but that is what the coach is there for. If Brown finally commits to a 8 player rotation and subs by necessity rather than just by time played, and the Lakers move the ball rather than dribbling too much one on one, then they can beat anyone. Think about Sessions with Gasol or Bynum on a pick and roll or slide, with the other big man posted low, Kobe on a short wing, then Artest/WP cutting in, who do you defend? . That’s a deadly combination that the Lakers have not used enough, but hopefully will in the playoffs. Too bad Lamar got emotional and demanded a trade. He could have been a part of this.

  5. big o says:

    Bynum you are the only Laker star that needs to buy in the idea of playing smart and hard every night. do not act like you are above the rest of the guys just because you are more talented. no body can teach height in the nba. so shut the front door and tell yourself you want to to win 2 more rings with pau and kobe. and two more rings after pau and kobe and tie with jordan.

  6. Ebanks has potential says:

    Ebanks is like Ariza

    MWP got lucky with those threes, trade him and pau got Deng
    Let bynum go to work in the paint.

  7. Lakers Champions 2012, yesssssssssssssss…..

  8. Oula says:

    Great job Bynum. Just stay cool even when you are frustrated by the NBA refs…. Great job by the Lakers on this road trip. Coach Brown should play Ebanks and Andrew Goudelock even when kobe comes back. They have potential and could help score points to help the bench. Cut down Murphy’s minutes and spread.

  9. enrique says:

    There is only ONE team in this league that would kill to have Bynam on their team grabbing boards. He’s a kid and already a beast under the hoop. Give him another 3 solid years and he will continually be in the list mentioned above.

  10. Gman says:

    omg… imagine if Kobe ever admits 7/20 shots is bad lol

  11. Concerned Fan says:

    SMH– Here we go again, more haters…Give the man a damn break! He is still young, growing, and yes immature at times.. why do we care how his attitude is on or off the court? Obviously the FANS are putting way more into this than the Franchise, or something would have been said to Bynum… Kobe, Mike Brown, or the Buss’ have not said anything to him that is going to change his attitude.. its a growing process that we all have to go thru a time in our lives. As long as Bynum and the Lakers team are knocking down the points, and he is getting 30 rebounds, and winning, THEY are going to be happy! Get over all the drama and stop weighing into this more than it is needed. I have heard more whinning about Bynum’s attutide, and lacksadaisey attitude here in the past month than is warranted. Good grief, get over the drama and either support the team as a whole or jump ship!

  12. lakermig says:

    awesome but we kinda all knew he had it in him, he just has to get his head straight and play well and give a 110% every single game.If he can do that and pau just keeps it up,same with kobe and barnes and artest (not world peace)and sessions step it up just a tad more we can definitely get to the finals.

  13. I know coach Pop can make adjustments from it. Hope to see the lakers again in the second round.

  14. frank says:

    Bynum must stay and win with Kobe and after Kobe. This team has great potential, now and the years to come. And i like Fran’s articles

  15. jonski22 says:

    if you look back at the end of the game..while Blake is dribbling and waiting for time to run out..you can see Bynums immaturity. Oh well he is 24..he is a kid..and its the end of the game anyway…

  16. killuabest says:

    Im a Laker Fan.. but you Bynum for one night a 30 rebound game…just one game. Better make it a 20-20 points/rebounds every game for me to clap my hand on you big fella. Anyway congratulations Big man.

  17. Lvinlegend says:

    This is my favorite article on Nba.com. Hell of a job, Fran!