Lakers vs. Nuggets: Don't Hate Andrew Bynum's Honesty
Andrew Bynum was asked about Game 5 versus the Denver Nuggets and said the following (via Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports): "Closeout games are actually kind of easy. Teams tend to fold if you come out and play hard in the beginning."
What you see here is a matter-of-fact, honest answer. Despite all the playoff mythology about how "the hardest thing to do is close another team out," it's actually not so, statistically speaking.
The Lakers entered a 3-1 home situation in which all but 26 percent of teams have succeeded, according to WhoWins.com. That stat just pertains to Game 5s. A home NBA team up 3-1 wins the series nearly 99 percent of the time.
Because Los Angeles failed to play hard (many would argue that Bynum contributed to that failure, despite his 16 points on eight shots), it is now in a Game 6 situation where 65 percent of visitors close the opposition out, via WhoWins.com.
Statistics aside, what does assorted media want from the young Lakers center?
He was asked a question, and he gave his thoughts. None of those thoughts were insults, aimed at George Karl and his guys. They were just general observations about how elimination games tend to work.
When this statement gets described as "arrogant," I have to believe that the real perceived arrogance, the one that bothers people, is the non-normative embrace of public truth, otherwise known as the Kinsley gaffe.
But the Kinsley gaffe supposedly pertains to politicians, not athletes. Unfortunately, we're increasingly treating our athletes like groveling senators and urging them to disingenuously bland up their personalities.
Honestly, I don't like it.
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