10 Things to Like and Dislike from Game 1

Andrew Bynum finally gets it. I am so proud of Andrew Bynum. He’s had a tough go these last two years, as everybody knows. Since 2008, when the Lakers shook-down Memphis for Pau Gasol, the Lakers have tried to preach to him: shot-blocking, rebounding, and help-side defense. Bynum could easily drop 25+ a game if he was on a team like Minnesota, and he’s always known that, and sometimes has tried to force the issue on the offensive end, and moped when he isn’t the focal point of the Lakers’ offense.

He spoke after the game that he’s finally “bought into” what the Lakers staff has been telling him for the last two years–and the result was the best Andrew Bynum game I’ve seen in a long time. 13 points (6-10 shooting), 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Just a monster, monster game. He was clearly gassed, but, he will be back in shape by the end of this series.

Bynum anchors what can be the best defense in the league. With him and Gasol in the paint–it just changes the perspective of the game, and gives a defensive sieve like Fisher some much-needed back-up. It’s length a the 4 and 5 positions that only the Cleveland Cavaliers can really combat. (And still, Shaq, Big Z, Anderson Varejao, etc. aren’t nearly as talented as Bynum and Gasol).

I can not understate how much I loved what Bynum did for the team yesterday. It was good to see him contributing in the play-offs after the last two years.

And, before I forget, don’t let the haters tell you that the forearm shiver that Bynum gave to Jeff Green was dirty. It wasn’t. Bynum just went out of his way to send a message to Green that he wasn’t to be trifled with. And what’d Green do? He went out and dropped 10 points on 4-12 shooting. That’s the kind of stuff that used to happen to the Lakers. That’s what Bynum brings to this team.

Next: The Blessing and Curse of the 3 and our Guards

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