As many of you no doubt saw, the Lakers barely escaped Oakland last night with a win over the severely depleted Golden State Warriors. The Warriors had three players in uniform over 6'9" -- all of them rookies, and with a combined total of 194 minutes played in the NBA. Most of the game they played with David Lee and four wings. So you would think that Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum would have big games, right?
Pau went for 19 points and a season-high 17 rebounds? Bynum? He went insane -- but not in a good way.
Less than two minutes into the second half, Bynum trailed the rest of the Lakers up the floor, received a pass at the top of the circle -- and took a long three pointer with 15 seconds on the shot clock. It missed badly, Mike Brown pulled Bynum, and Andrew ended up playing a total of five minutes the entire second half. The Warriors, with no business being in the game at all, took their first lead with 82 seconds left, but Kobe Bryant hit identical 20 foot jumpers on the next two possessions to bail out the Lakers.
The amazing thing is that Bynum doesn't seem to understand that what he did was stupid. When the cameras showed him on the bench, he was smiling and laughing. During timeouts while the rest of the team huddled around the coach, he remained in his seat. Perhaps most insane of all, after the game he had this to say:
I don't know what was bench-worthy about it. I made one [Sunday] night and I missed one tonight.
Really? This is your reasoning, Drew? Bynum did indeed make one Sunday against the Grizzlies. The first in his seven year NBA career, it should be noted, in eight tries. It was with a second left in a game the Lakers trailed by nine. Does Andrew Bynum seriously not understand the difference between taking a meaningless shot at the final buzzer of a game that is already over and taking a shot with 15 seconds on the shot clock two minutes into the second half of a six point game? Paul George of the Pacers made a half court shot just before halftime on Monday night -- should he start taking them all the time? Some times the ball goes in the basket.
Even if Bynum was a passable three point shooter, why would he take one in a game where he has four inches and 50 pounds on every single opponent he's facing? Most importantly, can we not assume that the Lakers run plays and sometimes practice and have some inkling of what they're trying to accomplish when they have possession of the ball? A long three pointer with 15 seconds on the shot clock is a bad shot for about 95% of NBA players -- and 100% of the current Lakers roster. There's no way in the world that Mike Brown has ever said to any Laker "That's a shot I want you to take -- any time you're open, any situation, take that shot." Never happened.
For Bynum to act like it's no big deal, to act as if he doesn't think he did anything wrong, is the biggest problem here.
I didn't know what he was thinking when he took that shot, and I sure don't know what he was thinking when he spoke about it later.