Some will call me a homer, others will tell me that I'm downright crazy. So I'll say it again, Andrew Bynum is the most promising young center in the NBA.
I will even go further—he might be the most complete center we have in the NBA today.
"What about Yao, Dwight Howard, Greg Oden, Amare Stoudemire or Tyson Chandler?" one might ask. And I'll answer them this: "Each of these guys have some type of weakness!"
1. Dwight Howard: He's like a young David Robinson without the jumper. He's a freak of nature with an unparalleled athleticism for a big man. And that's all he is when you think about it. He's not a great passer—although he plays with his back to basket, it's rare to see him consistently hit a hook shot. His most lethal weapon is his raw power and incredible footwork.
That still doesn't take away from him being the best young center in the league but soon he'll be overtaken by none other than Andrew Bynum.
2. Amare Stoudemire: He's made the most successful comeback from micro-fracture surgery to date. He seems more concerned with offense then defense. And he's one of the worst post defenders out there.
It says a lot when one can say that Kwame "bust" Brown is a better defender than you. But as far as scoring goes, He's at the top of the list when it comes to post players.
3. Greg Oden: Forgive me for this, but I don't think too highly of this guy. I see him as a more injury-prone Marcus Camby. Don't get me wrong, anybody that gets compared to Marcus Camby should feel honored since the guy he's the reigning defensive player of the year. But I don't seem him being a great center.
Making matters worse, is the amount of injuries this guy has sustained throughout his basketball career or health alarms raised: broken wrist, buldging disk in his back, his hip alignment is off, one leg is longer than the other, knees which had microscopic surgery performed on. There was also an unrelated rumor—which did not show up in the Orlando physical—that another team expressed concern about the long-term health of Oden's knees (according to SI.com). Second coming of Sam Bowie anyone?
4. Yao Ming: Yao is more a face up center than a post up one. He is more comfortable shooting the 10-15 ft jumper. Or sometimes he goes for the turnaround J. The most glaring weakness of this guy, is that he is too soft for his size. Any 7'5 center who gets blocked by 5'9 Nate Robinson, then knocked down to the floor, is soft. I don't care what you say, Yao Ming is soft!!
But what's hurting this guy the most is China, who's practically running his pro career to the ground. They force him to play every single basketball tournament the country is in, even the regional ones where the teams don't really pose a threat to China sans Yao.
He's broken his foot twice in the last two years. What's more depressing is that even with Yao, the Chinese basketball team doesn't stand a chance against the international competition. With the drills they make their national team participate in, I don't see Yao's career lasting more than five more years. It's a damn shame, ain't it?
5. Tyson Chandler: He's a really good defensive post player, but Andrew flat did anything he wanted in their last meeting. You can clearly see that Tyson was overmatched, he said it himself that it was really tough to guard Andrew.
He doesn't have much of an offensive game. I've seen him hit a few hook shots here and there, but not consistently. Most of his points come from Chris Paul feeding him. I think he's reached his ceiling already. That shouldn't take anything away from him being of our best young centers, just ask chicago!!
6. As for Andrew, his game continues to grow and from the look of it, he can do pretty much everything else. So far, he defends the pick and roll the best out of the players on this least. He's the classic five, that plays with his back to the basket, can finish with either hand and his wingspan is just otherworldly. The way he responded to the criticism over the summer makes him even more surprising. If he continues to improve his game, he'll soon go from most promising to best center overall in the league.
*Ralph Isaac, BleacherReport.com
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