If you read my last post, then you know that I wrote about how I think the Lakers have the talent to go deep into the playoffs but also how I'm not sure Coach Mike Brown can inspire the team chemistry necessary to get them there. I wrote that piece the day after he benched Kobe Bryant for four out of the final six minutes of their loss to the Grizzlies on Sunday night. I just didn't agree with the decision to bench Kobe, nor do I think that bodes well for team chemistry.
Fast forward from Sunday against the Grizzlies to last night against the Warriors, only this time, Andrew Bynum became Coach Brown's latest benching victim. Yes, for the second game in a row, Coach Brown decides to bench one of his best players. What is this guy thinking?
We all know Andrew Bynum took an unnecessary three-pointer with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. It's not the best shot. Ok, fine. It's not a good shot at all. No coach is going to want their center up top bombing threes. But Coach Brown didn't just take Bynum out for a few minutes. He sat him for the remainder of the third quarter (there was 9:33 left), then started him in the fourth quarter, only to take him out after three minutes and sit him for the rest of the game!
It would be one thing if he subbed him out for a few minutes, made him understand his error and sent him back in. But things happened quite differently. Bynum was subbed out and rarely even got off the bench to join team huddles for the rest of the game. (The Lakers ended up only winning by four which tells me they could have used the big man in those final minutes). Then, following the game, he commented to the media that if he had the opportunity to take another open three in the future, he would! So Coach Brown's substitution was completely ineffective in that it didn't help Bynum become a better player; it just annoyed the 7-footer.
I know I'm not a head coach. But I'll say it again: Benching your best players in crucial parts of the game will NOT BODE WELL FOR TEAM CHEMISTRY.
And in case you were wondering, Bynum had averaged over 24 points in his previous eight games before yesterday. Last night against Golden State, he finished with 11.
Questions or comments? Get at me Hoopsvibers!
Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithallison/6817398540/sizes/m/in/photostream/