Saturday, August 18, 2012

How does Bynum land Dwight?

A question that has boggled my mind for the last week.  When you look at the trade as a whole, it makes you wonder why Orlando would do this when there were so many great offers on the table.  They would have been better off if they had taken Houston's, Brooklyn's, or even Atlanta's offers.  But no.  They take neither of those offers.  Heck, they don't even take Andrew Bynum or Iguodala.  They take back Arron Afflalo and Moe Harkless?  What?  

Okay there is so much beef I have with the trade in itself, but when you look at who became the biggest title contenders after this trade, it's obviously the Los Angeles Lakers.  Someone please enlighten me.  How does Andrew Bynum alone land Dwight?  It seemed like just a year ago there were talks of Pau and Bynum landing Dwight.  When the smoke clears, the Lakers only have to give up Bynum to get Dwight?

Bynum is not a bad player by any means.  He's a legitimate building block and an All-Star center, but he's not better than Dwight, period.  Bynum has been overrated by the media, the Lakers, and the Lakers' fan base for years.  Seems like it has finally paid off, and they sold him sky high.  Can't fault the Lakers for this.  The Lakers just know how to get it done.  But more to the point.  I already had my doubts about Bynum as is, and Kareem made me feel even better about my opinion on Bynum with his latest comments:

Jabbar said of the trade that brought Howard to town and sent Bynum to Philly was "nothing short of a coup."  Jabbar said Howard will thrive without changing "his game that much" and that he's "is very committed to playing and winning. Andrew has been up and down on that issue. There are times he wants to play, do a great job and he goes out and does it. Then there are other times where it seems like he's not focused."
Jabbar worked with Bynum for a few years after the Lakers drafted the 7-footer in the first round of the 2005 draft.  "When I first started working with him, he was eager to learn," Abdul-Jabbar said. "He appreciated me shortening the learning curve. Once he figured he did everything he wanted to do in terms of learning, he didn't want me to bother him constantly going over the fundamentals."

My sentiments exactly Kareem.  To add to that, Bynum is not in Dwight's area code as a defender.  Bynum's lateral movement is slow, and he has slow feet.  He can't properly rotate on pick and rolls as a big man should.  He lets the ball handler come to him in the lane instead of going to the ball handler to contest.  He is a big reason why the Lakers' pick and roll defense was poor and couldn't stop point guard penetration in the last few seasons.  Bynum has to become better at rotating defensively.   

Conversely, Dwight Howard is the best big man pick and roll defender in the NBA.  He contests as many shots as he can.  He shows on pick and rolls well, and has the speed to recover and get back to the paint defensively.  He has great lateral movement, and can get back defensively.  Dwight can also run the floor.  Something that has often been a problem for Bynum.

If that wasn't enough to convince you that Bynum landing Dwight is laughable, Dwight has anchored some of the best defenses in the NBA year in and year out.  Aside from Dwight's first two years in the league, his team's defensive rating has at least been sixth in all of basketball.  Largely because of Dwight.  Keep in mind, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis, and Jameer Nelson were constant starters during his tenure there.  Not exactly defensive specialists.  So we have a player that can anchor a team surrounded by mediocre defensive players to some of the best defensive teams in the NBA seemingly on his own.  

We have Bynum, who is all hype and upside versus a proven Defensive Player of the Year winner who anchors elite defenses despite being surrounded by mediocre defenders.  Where Bynum has the advantage is offense.  Even that's not by much.  Bynum panics when he's double teamed, and he doesn't draw as many fouls as Dwight does in the paint.  Overall, Dwight is just as effective offensively as Bynum, and is world's better defensively.

If that also wasn't enough to convince you that Bynum landing Dwight is a joke, let's take a look at each players' career statistics:
Andrew Bynum's

Dwight Howard's
This can land Dwight?  There is no doubt that I can't absolutely stand Dwight.  I like Bynum a lot more than I like Dwight, but even I can admit that Bynum is not in Dwight's area code.  Seriously, how does Bynum get Dwight?  

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