Saturday , Jan , 24 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Has Andrew Bynum finally arrived for Los Angeles?

He can’t worry about living up to his contract. After signing an extension in October, Bynum spent November and December trying to show he was worth the money. This mindset, while understandable, led to forced shots, turnovers, and frustration. Recently, Bynum seems loose and relaxed, which has led to his improved play …

Has Andrew Bynum finally arrived for Los Angeles?Has Andrew Bynum finally arrived? His 42 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 blocks against the Clippers would indicate so.

After an inconsistent start, Bynum is shaking the enigma label and earning the four-year, 60 million dollar extension he signed in training camp. And, by averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds over his last nine games, the post has earned something more important: the trust of teammates and coaches.

With a dominant five-man, the Lakers possess an edge over top contenders like Boston and Cleveland. How can Bynum continue having success?

He can’t worry about living up to his contract. After signing an extension in October, Bynum spent November and December trying to show he was worth the money. This mindset, while understandable, led to forced shots, turnovers, and frustration. Recently, Bynum seems loose and relaxed, which has helped his play improve.

Bynum must continue receiving the ball on the block. At 7-0 and 285 pounds, he is bigger than most posts. And he also has exceptionally long arms. When the young pro gets deep position, he can easily sink a turnaround chippie or attack the basket. A low post presence also creates space on the perimeter.

Keep ‘The Sky Hook’ on staff. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and former Laker-great, has been mentoring Bynum. This is a positive. Not only is Abdul-Jabbar an experienced post, but his calm demeanour is useful when Coach Jackson is riding Bynum.

Bynum can, and will, get better. Part of this is health related –right now, the New Jersey native is finding his legs after last year’s knee injury. Part of this is also on Bynum. Even with Pau Gasol at the four-spot, he should be getting more than eight rebounds in his 29 minutes of playing time.

With Bynum improving, Los Angeles is the favourite. Only time will tell if he has arrived or whether this is another flash of his great potential.      

Has Bynum arrived? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of tokai21.