Sunday, May 6, 2012

Here's What's Wrong with the Lakers' Bynum

Want to know what's wrong with LA Lakers' center Andrew Bynum, who sometimes acts like a space cadet? According to two sources close to two Laker players, it's very simple. Basketball just isn't his No. 1 priority. Know why he sometimes looks unfocused? Because he is. His life, the sources say, is cluttered with distractions that often push basketball  into low priority status. In any given ten games, Big Baby Bynum will show up in two or three. For Bynum that nickname is a negative not a cutsey positive.

Laker players try to get through to Bynum but none of them can. Say the sources, he simply just doesn't care enough sometimes and no one can change that lazy attitude. When Derek Fisher was still with the team he had better luck than anybody piercing Bynum's I-don't-care armor. Certain Laker players, said one source, can read Bynum well. It was clear to them late Friday that he was due for a half-hearted effort.

Gamblers are into reading Bynum. If he's not playing well, the Lakers are probably going to lose, as they did, 99-84, to the Denver Nuggets on Friday. One of the sources said he got early word that Bynum was in one of his moods and capitalized by placing a bet on Denver winnning the game and another on Denver winning the first  half.

No question, Bynum's head-in-the-clouds routine cost the Lakers the game on Friday. In the first half, while he was clearly lollygagging and putting out 50%, the Nuggets raced to 24-point lead, including a 19-0 spurt. Meanwhile Bynum took just three shots and didn't score, allowing smaller, lesser players to push him around. He came to his senses in the second half, scoring 18 points and finishing with 12 rebounds, but it was too late. That horrible first half put the Lakers in such a hole they never were able to recover. That loss is on Bynum.

The Lakers are very beatable in Denver. For one thing, Kobe Bryant usually doesn't shoot well there. Also, the high altitude and the Nuggets race-horce style wear the Lakers down. The Lakers could very easily lose this game tonight. A solid, 48-minute effort from Bynum would make a difference.

But there's one bonus for the Lakers. Bynum rarely has two bad games in a row. Beast Bynum just might show up tonight instead of Big Baby Bynum.