Andrew Bynum Is Already Better Than Dwight Howard

Bob Bajek@bobbajekAnalyst IIIApril 6, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference looks to move the ball against Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic and the Eastern Conference during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The best center in the NBA is the Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum, not the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard. Here are the reasons why.

First and foremost, Bynum is a better offensive center than Howard.

While Howard is the first option with the Magic, Bynum is the second- or third-option for the Lakers.

D12 has 20.6 points on 57.9 percent shooting (13.4 attempts) this year and is very prone to missing free throws. He's made an average of 58.7 percent of his free throws in his career, but he has shot an abysmal 48.6 percent in 2011-12.

Shaquille O'Neal shot worse from the free-throw line in only four of his 20 seasons.

Meanwhile, Bynum has to compete with Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and power forward Pau Gasol for offensive touches. Bynum has excelled on offense despite these limitations.

The 7'0", 285-pound Bynum has 18.3 points per game while shooting 58.3 percent on 12.5 attempts. He is also a much better free-throw shooter than Howard, maintaining a 68.5 percent career average while nailing 68.4 percent this season.

Bynum also has more shooting range than Howard. D12 gets all his points in the paint, while Bynum has a nice 10-foot jump shot that provides more offensive options. The Lakers center can hit the drive-cutter better than Howard, who's only effective passing to the open man on the perimeter.

Not only is Bynum a better offensive player than Howard, he isn't too far behind in defensive effectiveness, either.

Bynum grabs a lot of defensive rebounds (8.7) and isn't too far behind Howard (10.8) in that regard.

Superman has been heralded as an awesome shot blocker, and he definitely is. However, Bynum is close to him with 2.0 blocks per night to Howard's 2.2.

Both Bynum and Howard take away the inside of the paint as they both alter shots. Bynum is a bit better at compensating for opponents who turn, face, and shoot and go because he has a longer wingspan.

With these thoughts in mind, I believe Bynum is a better center than Howard. What do you think?