Andrew Bynum is having the best season of his career. He's healthy, he's 100%, and not only that, he wants the ball every possession.
Is this the season where Andrew Bynum surpasses Dwight Howard as the best center in the league?
Let's face it, offensively, Andrew Bynum is the most dominant center in the league. Other than Pau Gasol, who isn't nearly as physically-gifted, there is nobody as skilled as Andrew Bynum on the low-block. You add one of the more skilled players in the league along with a legit 7'1" frame and 280~lbs of raw strength and you get Andrew Bynum.
Of course, Dwight Howard is an absolute beast on the defensive end. In terms of off-ball, help-side, and on-ball, he's the best player in the league, defensively. But does his defense really make-up for the fact that he's had the same two post moves for the last 3-4 years? I'm going to give Andrew Bynum a lot of credit here, the entire time he was injured, he wasn't just waiting to get better and come back out of shape and clueless as to how the offense was ran. After every injury, he came back in-shape and with more moves than when he went down.
It almost seems as if the down-time Andrew had helped him become a better basketball player. I was watching the Laker/Clipper game a couple of days ago and I saw something that astonished me. Andrew Bynum was posting up DeAndre Jordan, he then faced him up, pump faked (DeAndre didn't bite), he spun on him hoping to have an easy lay-in on the opposite side (Again, DeAndre wasn't fooled), then he went up and under for an even easier lay-up. (DeAndre had no clue what had just happened).
This surprised me because in only one play, Andrew Bynum had shown three different offensive moves. When DeAndre stopped his first two advances, Bynum already knew exactly what he was going to do with his third move. In one possession, Andrew Bynum used three different moves. In Dwight Howard's entire career, the only moves I've seen him pull is the cheap hook-shot and a quick out-step spin-in move.
The more I watch Bynum, the more difficult it is for me to say that he is still the 2nd best center in the league. Offensively, he's got all of the moves, he rebounds very well, he blocks shots at around the same clip as Dwight, he's a much better passer, he has more moves than Dwight can ever dream of, he's a terrific free-throw shooter for his size while Dwight is having a sub-500 shooting year from the charity stripe. Not to mention, it's a pretty well-known fact that size ages better than athleticism. Dwight's athleticism will fade as his career continues, but 10 years from now, Andrew Bynum will still be a long and legit 7'1".
Not to mention, the amount of shots Andrew Bynum alters on the defensive end (if these stats are kept) may mirror Dwight Howard's. Sure Dwight is a better defender, but the gap isn't as large as it may seem. While Dwight is getting the SportsCenter Top 10 blocks, Andrew Bynum is getting the gritty tough blocks down on the block, on-ball.
Take a look at a small sample size while this information seeps into your brain.
Andrew Bynum's last 5 games:
(Not including the Warrior games. Benched one game, sprained ankle the 2nd, 33 minutes total)
- 27.6 PPG -- 9.0 RPG -- 2.4 BPG
- 65.4% FG -- 81.5% FT -- 7.6 FT/PG
Dwight Howard's last 5 games:
- 15.6 PPG -- 10.2 RPG -- 1.6 BPG
- 58.0% FG -- 48.7% FT -- 8.2 FT/PG
In one word, no.
You're going to argue off of the last 5 games? Bynum is having a great run right now, but I could take another 5 game sample that favors Dwight, so there's no real support in 5 games, how about the season. Dwight is averaging more points and rebounds on the year compared to Bynum. Also remember last time the two met up, Dwight outplayed Bynum by a mile. Also it helps to be playing with Kobe rather than Hedo.
Kareem should be a coach. He work with big men is better than Ewings or some other big men. I think Kevin Mchale work with big men is outstanding too. You can tell when players are getting real good help from their big men coaches. Portland is another team that had some really good big men coaches. I don't know if they still have them but if so than watch out for Hickson. Sac does not have good big men coaches. They may have stunted Cousins growth and Jason Thompson. Cousins is still putting up number but he could be doing better and playing more consistent and more efficient.
Hell yeah! finally someone to mention it!
How does a small sample size prove that Andrew Bynum is better than Dwight Howard?
I think it's a tough call for me. I don't need the stats, especially when it's only over 5 games. Obviously Bynum is a better all around player than Howard. The only thing I wonder is how much Gasol and Kobe open things up for him. By the same token, there are times when Kobe gets shot happy and doesn't do more to get him involved. On the other side, Howard really isn't playing with anyone. I have believed that he has never gotten enough looks on the offensive end, but the guy still manages to get 20 a game. He also doesn't play with one decent defender (liggins is glued to the bench and a rookie). It's really amazing how much ground Howard can cover on defense.
Overall, if health wasn't a concern I would pick Bynum. It might sound silly to some, but I like his mean streak. I think that is what separates a lot of really good players, especially big men. Wilt Chamberlain used to put up some astronomical numbers, but there was always a part of him that didn't do enough to win more. While I think Dwight plays hard every game, his physical talent should put him far ahead of every other center in the league. He should be putting up old school Shaq numbers. The games against 4s playing the 5 and the number of guys that wouldn't have gotten on the floor even 10 years ago at the position should inflate his stats alone. At the end of a game I know I could rely on Bynum. He plays good defense, you can throw the ball to him to tell him to get you a basket and if he gets fouled he's not a liability at the line. So while Dwight is dominate on one end, I think Bynum is the pick.
It's to early to tell but if Bynum continues his play in the playoffs and next year he could leap frog Dwight. Dwight has been dominating more years than Bynum so I still will give the edge to Dwight. But hypothetically speaking, if Bynum wasn't so injury prone and played on another team who is to say Bynum wouldn't be considered the best big? I'm a Laker fan and I do think playing on a team with Kobe hurt his progression as a player. Plus he came out of high school. It took Dwight two years before he started playing at an All Star level, but he is the player that team was building around so more people will take notice. Either way I'm still sticking with Dwight for now but you brought up some good points Tongue Out
Lets not forget that Bynum has been consistently hurt his entire career while Dwight defines the word ironman.
Maybe best center in the league, production wise, for the last 5 games...
Andrew Bynum is having a great year, but considering his career high numbers in rebounding this season (11.9) would be the 2nd lowest in Dwight Howard's career, only beating his rookie rebounding numbers.
Howard is still a more prolific scorer, better rebounder, better shot blocker, and a guy who averages 1.5 steals per game. Bynum, IMO, has established himself as the 2nd best center in the league, but Dwight Howard is still Dwight Howard, the best center in the current game.
If Dwigth played with a great wing or a pass 1st penetrating PG he would be very scary.
Let's put it this way, would the Lakers accept a trade offer from Orlando between Howard for Bynum, straight up, no picks? Yes they would, in fact, it would be accepted so fast that Bynum would be on a plane before they even said yes. Would the Magic do like wise? NO.
Dwight is the most dominating post player in the league, and while I'm not trying to discredit Bynum's talent, he's not as good as Dwight at Center, no one is. It's not even like there's a big age gap between the two that could settle it, Howard is 27, and Bynum is 25. Give me Dwight all day every day.
The thing that shocks me is that Patrick Ewing is one of the greatest jump-shooting bigs and scoring bigs of all-time, but I really don't see any of Ewing's game in Dwight, even though he's been with them for a while now. Kareem has done a great job with Bynum, I love Bynum's back to the basket post game, his post game is definatly better than Dwight's, but Dwight is still the better all-around player.
And really? You're gonna argue last 5 games? Not counting last night's game, DeMarcus Cousins was averaging 27 and12 his past 9 games, you can't make an arguement on a sample size that small.
He's not yet but if he can stay healthy with his improving skills it bound to happen. Just like Durant passing Lebron as the best SF and player in the League. In three years they may as well be the faces of the League.
no, Bynum is not the best center in the league. He is however, the biggest knucklehead in the league, slightly outdoing Dwight Howard. Jacking threes, not listening in team huddles and missing meetings with his GM. Unbelievable.
on those 5 games he is most definitely the best center in the league. smh. - Jlv2012
Bynum still doesn't have the impact on D Dwight does and it isn't really close. Add in that Dwight's overall offensive numbers are better and I'm unsure where the arguement comes from. Dwight in a landslide.
Bynum is the best center in the league when healthy. This version of the lakers with a healthy Bynum and the emergence of top Ramon would of went back to back to back. IMO all the lakers need is a new coach.......Nate McMillan please
I'm not basing it off of the last 5 games, as I said it's a small sample size but look at the overall statistics.
- 20.6 PPG
- 14.4 RPG
- 2.2 BPG
- 58% FG
- 48% FT
Now let's look at Bynum while playing with Kobe AND Gasol meaning less shots for him. He is also playing less minutes than Dwight.
- 18.3 PPG
- 12 RPG
- 2.0 BPG
- 58% FG
- 68% FT
He's averaging 2 less rebounds and 2 less points. Remember, Bynum is playing with Gasol, who averaged 10.5 RPG and 17 PPG. He's also playing with Kobe who's been chucking up shots like there's no tomorrow at a pace of 23 shots a game.
What if Dwight played with Gasol and Kobe? Would he continue to average just over 20 PPG or would it drop to about Bynum's numbers? Would it drop even lower to about 16-17 PPG? Bynum has more overall skills than Dwight at this very moment.
He makes the Magic go. They are a top tier defensive team with him, but without him they would be bad defensively with nobody to protect the rim. I also think, regardless of stats, Dwight is much more important to the Magic's offense than Bynum is to the Lakers offense. Howard creates open looks for his teammates with his scoring down low, and, while Bynum is very important to the Lakers, Kobe and Pau would still score efficiently without him. I don't think it is close between the two. It doesn't hurt that Howard is less injury-prone.
I still don't think Andrew Bynum is 100% healthy. I think people forget just how long it takes a knee to heal on the inside 100%. He'll never be the athlete he once was, but I think there's still a little he can get back vertically and laterally.
IF he can avoid another knee injury and stay on the floor, I think he'll become a superstar. Not even Dwight Howard gets post position and seals his man underneath the basket like Bynum does. There is not one player in the NBA that can push him off of the block. And one on one, you can't defend him. Teams are double/triple teaming him on a consistent basis.
Offensively, he's more skilled than Howard. He has better footwork and better hands. He's also a better free-throw shooter. He's taller, bigger, longer and probably just as strong.
Howard is better for now, but I think Bynum will make this real close during the next season or so.
I truly think if Orlando didn't have Dwight Howard, they'd be below .500 and instead they're the only team in the league to beat both the Heat and the Bulls.
Replace him with Andrew Bynum, and I don't know if you could say that. I think Bynum is the 2nd best C in the league.
Bynum plays with Gasol/Kobe they are going to be a 3-4 seed in the West
Howard plays with Hedo/Jameer they are going to be a 3-4 seed in the East
Lets not just look at stats, and look at the fact Dwight single handidly makes a horrible team a good team. Bynum doesn't do that.
Orlando would probably be worse this year with Bynum instead of Howard, but I think they could possibly be better heading forward.
You can run an offense through Bynum. He has what it takes to be a go-to offensive player in my opinion. I still don't see top offensive option when I watch Howard play, especially down the stretch of games. Kobe Bryant, who almost never defers down the stretch, broke Mike Brown's designed play to go to Bynum. That says something.
Yeah, I think that's what I was trying to hint at, the fact that it's a lot closer than people think. It's not like Dwight Howard is leaps and bounds ahead of Bynum. In terms of the overall offensive skill-set, it's quite clear that Bynum is the better player. In terms of IQ, moves, fundamentals, footwork, and physical dominance, Bynum is the better player.
I think Dwight has reached his ceiling, it's been years since he's added any moves to his offensive repetoire and the older he gets, the more his athleticism will decline. 8 years from now, Dwight will only have about 3 moves to his name with less athleticism. Bynum will still be 7'1, 280+ and will still have a variety of post-moves.
You can really see how Kobe and Pau are rubbing off on him. Pau's skills on the low-block as well as his passing ability and unselfishness really helped Bynum mature down-low and improve his own offense and passing ability while Kobe's footwork, basketball IQ, fundamentals, and work ethic is also rubbing off on Bynum.
For now, it's extremely close, come next season as Kobe's knees wear a bit and Pau grows another year older, they'll depend on Bynum a lot more. I wouldn't be surprised if he averages 20-22 PPG.
"Howard plays with Hedo/Jameer they are going to be a 3-4 seed in the East"
They're actually 6th in the East right now.
I think if Dwight was replaced by Bynum on the Magic, at the start of the season, the Magic would have the 7 or 8th seed, easily. Probably even the 6th seed. I also believe that Bynum can only improve as he gains more mobility and the season slows down next year whereas Dwight hasn't done anything to improve his game in the last couple of years.
I think that's a flawed argument...
Let's be real here... Kobe is gunning this season. This isn't Bynum's team. IF Kobe gave Bynum the ball as much as he should, who knows what kind of numbers he'd be putting up. The Lakers would be a better team if Bynum got the touches he should.
And the West is a deeper conference than the East, not to mention the Lakers have a new coach, new players, etc.
I think that Jefferson and Cousins are more skilled offensivly, and Howard has him beat on D. Luckily for Bynum he has better size and length than all of them which makes up for being slightly behind in skill on both ends of the floor. I think that as far as being the best center in the NBA Bynum will overtake Howard in some peoples minds but I do not believe he could pull far enough ahead to make it obvious. When given the chance I would take Howard over Bynum because I would prefer to search for a pf that complements a defensive minded center rather than an offensive minded one.
I'd take Bynum because of the previous said mean streak, I like that in players, you can tell they care. The center position is in sad shape these days. The 90's were the heyday for centers in the league, Ewing, Shaq, Olajuwon, Mt. Mutombo, these centers today wouldn't stand a chance againts these HOF talents. I just wish Oden would have never got hurt, then we'd at least have someone contending for best center, instead of giving it to Howard by default. Where o where is the next dominant 5???? In my opinion looking at the prospects for the next 5 years, we will have to wait for the next beast on the block.
Joe Wolf, off the top of my head I believe the Thunder have also beat both the Heat and the Bulls.
Bynum's potential at this point in their careers is greater IMO. Dwight has peaked offensively. I honestly never expected him to become some kind of terrific b2b player, but at least a good face-up game like Amare. He has yet to even develop that. As for Bynum's D, it's not on Dwight's level YET. But his size alone causes tons of problems for other teams defensively. Bynum's footwork is far too often credited to KAJ for helping develop it, which to an extent is true as he took a kid with absolutely no footwork and helped get him to a point where it looked at least decent. This year it's actually been developed to a Gasol/Duncan level thanks to Darvin Ham who from what many in the Lakers organization have credited.
Not as good on defense but better on offense. It's funny a couple of seasons ago someone said D.Vjordan was on the same level. I thought about that as Bynum straight destroyed Jordan while laughing about it the other night.
You had a great argument until you brought up the 5 games part. Dwight is still better then Bynum to me, just because I kinda know what Howard's team look like with him as the best player. Bynum, while he should be the Lakers main offensive weapon, isn't. Not to mention, imagine Howard next to Pau Gasol, that team would be even better then what the Lakers are now.
The only team that could run their offense through Bynum is probably the Bobcats... the Lakers could try but they would have to be looking for ping pong balls.
Bynum's opportunities are created from Kobe Bryant's play... they are not limited because if it.
I'm going to take this approach, Bynum is the better C skill wise and with overall ability. But what sets Dwight Howard apart from him is his impact on the game, Howard's impact is unmeasurable, Bynum is nowhere near Howard's level when it comes to this. This puts Howard over Bynum i think.
Furthermore, i don't think Howard is the type of C that you can build your team around, but rather the missing piece of the puzzle to win the ring, He's not a number 1 option offensively, he lacks the offensive polish and skills, i think Howard would be more devasting and make a team a whole lot more better if he's the 2nd option behind a big time scorer, being the anchor of the defense in the process as well obviously (this is where the Magic have stuffed up, he doesn't have a big time scorer alongside him, just 3pt shooters).
Bynum you can make the centrepiece of your offense, his skills and offensive polish allows this to work, and in future years, i look forward to seeing just how dominant he can become offensively, i miss the true big men dominating the game like his potential has all over him. He isn't at his peak yet, i hope his peak is high enough to become a number 1 option on a contending team, it will be exciting for the NBA (and maybe encourage youngsters that being a true big man is worth it after all, so it doesn't become a dying breed).
how come bynum is getting credit for scoring in the same range of howard while taking less shots since he has pau and kobe, howard is taking less than 1 shot more than bynum per game, but dwight isnt getting credit for having the focus of the defense on him instead his teamates?
He only got 30 rebond tonight