Expectations have never been higher for Andrew Bynum. All along the mantra has been patience as the young 7-footer grows into his body while adding to his game.
Well, the time for hope is over. The hype is here and Bynum’s paycheck shows it.
Slated to make his debut on New Year’s Eve, Bynum’s maturity is again an issue of concern in the wake of his back-to-back traffic citations on the 405. Another issue in question actually relates to the game.
Drew’s conditioning will be put to the test immediately as Mike Brown has stated he plans on playing Bynum 34 minutes a night starting tomorrow. While Brown isn’t shy about stating his goals for Drew’s court time the head coach is slow to put statistical expectations on his supposed franchise big man.
Brown told the OC Register that he wasn’t sure if Bynum can be a 20 and 10 player. To be sure those are some big numbers to put up but that’s what the expectation is of a franchise center.
Now Brown has no doubt Drew can pull down 10 boards a night. One of the more underrated elements of Bynum’s game is his presence on the boards. When he’s in the mood Drew can clean the glass like a high rise window washer. In fact, Coach Brown could see Drew being a top 5 rebounder this season.
“That’s a terrific goal. I’m excited he would think that way, because he should think that way first.”
In other words the primary focus for Bynum will be rebounding and defending. Now that is reasonable and makes a lot of sense. However it’s not like Bynum is some big stiff out there with no offensive game. Maybe he’ll never be 20 and 10 but the Lakers are going to need more offensive output from the post.
Whatever the expectations the reality is this is a crucial year for Bynum and the Lakers. This franchise is in a transition phase and Drew needs to prove he can be a building block going forward. He doesn’t need to drop 20 a night to prove that but he does need to show that he’s more than just an ancillary piece of the puzzle.