Around the World (Wide Web): More Bynum Love

Phillip Barnett —  March 17, 2011

From Andy Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: This development isn’t simply a matter of Bynum hitting a defensive groove. He’s acknowledging a specific role and embracing it wholeheartedly. More importantly, he’s truly grasping the importance of a defensive impact. Drew has always understood the crucial nature of clogging the middle and hitting the glass, but that’s not the same thing as truly understanding. After all, this isn’t the first time Drew’s been asked to prioritize defense. But as Bynum explained after Monday’s win over Orlando, there’s now a tangible connection felt. “I just think it’s because I’ve realized it’s a way to get into the game without having to dominate the ball on offense. We have scorers on this team. It’s just a way to keep your energy level high. … I just did it a couple of times and was like, ‘Wow, it works.’”

From Andy Kamenetzky, Land O’ Lakers: For a recent ESPN The Magazine feature called “Compatibility Test: Is he your Ideal (Team)mate?,” our buddy Sam Alipour tested the simpatico nature of new teammates Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins. Among the questions asked were “Lakers: Team to beat or old news?” As you can see, the two aren’t yin and yang simply because of body type. Durant: “They’re the reigning champions and still playing like it.” Perkins: “Yesterday’s news. I don’t like Pau Gasol or Phil Jackson. Phil is arrogant. Pau is soft. Kobe tries to bring out his toughness, but he’s still soft.” On like Donkey Kong, right? Actually, I doubt it.

From Dave McMenamin, ESPNLA: Pau Gasol called Wednesday’s Los Angeles Lakers practice “a hard one,” as the team got things going after an off day Tuesday. Turns out Kobe Bryant got a hard day’s work off. Bryant, who came in to the Lakers’ practice facility on the off day to receive treatment on the left ankle he sprained two games ago against Dallas, opted to sit out Wednesday. The Lakers’ next game is not until Friday at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. “It’s still an ankle that was badly sprained,” said Lakers head coach Phil Jackson. “He’s got to be doing therapy a lot. Today, he stayed off it. Tomorrow he may come out on the court.”

From Broderick Turner, LA Times: Two days after his 18-rebound, four-blocked-shot performance against Orlando’s Dwight Howard, considered by many the best center in the NBA, the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum was still all the rage. He has been a towering presence since the All-Star break, a force that has helped the Lakers produce the best record in the NBA at 10-1 since Feb. 22. Bynum has dominated the backboards and been an intimidator on defense with his 7-foot, 285-pound frame. “That’s where he can really impact the game a lot on this team,” Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said. “Obviously, some nights he’s got to score if he’s got the hand. But every night he can change it with rebounding and defense.”

From Mark Medina, LA Times: Usually the olive branch behind Phil Jackson’s voice of reason, calmness and perspective, Lakers guard Derek Fisher found himself questioning his coaching tactics during Wednesday’s practice. “He annoyed us and got on our nerves a lot,” he said at the team’s facility in El Segundo. The reason? It appears Jackson put heavy emphasis on conditioning and running drills, something that did not go over well with the 15-year veteran. “I’d say I’m not a marathon runner,” Fisher said. “I’m a basketball player. I think he got the two in reverse today.”

From SoCalGal, Silver Screen and Roll: At Lower Merion High School, Kobe played on the varsity squad as a freshman, a year when the team didn’t do much; from his sophomore through senior years, Kobe led the team to a 77-13 record and played all five positions (remind you of anyone?); the team won its first state championship in 53 years, with Kobe averaging 30.8 PPG, 12 RPG, 6.5 APG, 4 SPG and 3.8 BPG; the Lower Merion Aces went 31-3 in his senior year; he ended his career as Southeastern Pennsylvania’s all-time leading scorer with 2,883 points (surpassing Wilt Chamberlain and Lionel Simmons); he played at Adidas’ ABCD camp with Lamar Odom (Kobe was named MVP), and worked out with the 76ers, going one-on-one with Jerry Stackhouse. As a senior, Kobe received several awards, including being named Naismith High School Player of the Year, Gatorade Men’s National Basketball Player of the Year, a McDonald’s All-American, and a USA Today All-USA First Team player

Phillip Barnett

Posts

7 responses to Around the World (Wide Web): More Bynum Love

  1. Bynum’s recent play has been all the talk, and deservedly so.

    But let’s not overlook Ron Artest’s contributions of late too. He’s been much more involved on offense, working closer to the rim rather than just waiting for a three-point look. He’s also done a good job on guys who’ve hurt the Lakers in earlier games, including LeBron, Stephen Jackson and Jason Kidd.

    Teamwide, there are lots of people doing lots of things right of late. Let’s hope they aren’t peaking too soon; I doubt it, given the veterans on this squad.

  2. Wow, Kendrick Perkins is talking smack about the Lakers. Calling Phil Jackson arrogant won’t phase him. Calling Pau Gasol soft probably will get to Pau (which is probably a good thing). But to call out Kobe Bryant and basically calling him a fake tough guy is a “no-no”.

    This might just be what Kobe needs to help turn his game up going into the playoffs. I remember what happened to the last person that disrespected Kobe like that, calling himself a “Kobe Stopper”.

    Do the Lakers play OKC again this season? Can’t wait for that game.

  3. It seems Perkins may actually be dumber than he looks. The last we heard from him, he was sitting out nursing his injuries during game 7 of the finals, while Pau was grabbing 18 rebounds and generally playing big. It doesn’t reflect very well on Perkins to be making those comments now.

  4. Perkins is a Celtic at heart and as such he will always hate the Lakers. He is no different than any other true Laker fan; we all hate the Celtics with a PURPLE PASSION. I personally view Paul Pierce as a fake tough guy, cry baby, bitch. I see KG as a fake tough guy, dirty, bully. I even see Rondo as a pompus, cheating, freak of nature (with his abnormally long arms and huge hands). WE hate them, they hate us. Oh well.

  5. Paul Pierce leaving an NBA final game in a wheelchair and coming back ten minutes later like nothing happen was so unbelievable I wouldn’t be surprised if we found out that moment was choreographed to get the Boston fans in the game.

    I still can’t get over that, and any grudging respect I could have had for Paul Pierce evaporated in that moment.

  6. Defining “tough” is very difficult. However, I can tell you what isn’t tough: trying to call out others for not being tough. Perkins breaks tough guy rule number one with this. I do wonder how this will affect OKC. They are not a group of guys that uses psychology to try to play their opponents. That works for some teams, but not for others. David Robinson and Tim Duncan never cared about appearing tough. We see what they accomplished.

    If anything Perkins may be counting on Kobe trying to overdo it in an attempt to strike back at Perkins. That worked for Kobe against Ruben Patterson in 2002. I still remember a young and spry Kobe consistently yelling obscenities at Patterson every time he hit a shot on him in one of those 2002 playoff games. But this isn’t 2002 and Kobe is not 23 anymore. These days the “out to prove something” Kobe can be a blessing or a curse. As long as Kobe keeps his head the Lakers should be fine. If he goes into “Rambo” mode it could be problematic.

    That brings me to an irritating thing I am noticing. Why are so many sportswriters delcaring OKC trouble for the Lakers? Unless the Lakers go on a mini losing streak these last several games the Thunder will play San Antonio in the second round. Why are Jason Whitlock and Henry Abbot not writing articles about how they will be a problem for the Spurs? OKC gets a couple decent bigs and people automatically look at the Lakers. Last I checked San Antonio is the team that lacks size up front. Both LA and Dallas have the size to counter Mohammed, Perkins, and Ibaka.