Sad news, even if it isn't exactly shocking.
Coach Vogel reports that Andrew Bynum had some knee swelling and is out for tonight's game against the Sixers.— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) March 17, 2014
Tom Lewis of Indy Cornrows confirmed as much early Monday:
Bynum has swelling in knee, had MRI according to Vogel. Doesn't sound like planned rest, but as Vogel said, what we signed up for.— Tom Lewis (@IndyCornrows) March 17, 2014
After spending the better part of two calendar years either injured or wandering in the NBA wilderness, Bynum looks like he’s finally found a home as a second-unit sparkplug for the Indiana Pacers.
In the two games Bynum has seen action, he’s averaging 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in 18 minutes—or 23 points and 19 rebounds per 36 minutes, if that’s your jam—including a 15-point, nine-rebound gem (in just 20 minutes of action) in a 112-104 win over the Detroit Pistons last Saturday.
No word yet on how long Bynum might be sidelined, or whether the swelling points to a more serious long-term issue.
Should Bynum need to be shut down, it’s hard to envision the loss impacting the Pacers in any significant way. With Ian Mahinmi and Lavoy Allen—the latter of whom was required in the deadline deal involving Danny Granger and Evan Turner—rounding out the depth chart, Indiana isn’t exactly hurting for height.
Besides, for all the promise he showed individually, the team-wide effects weren’t exactly earth shattering: According to NBA.com, Bynum was registering a plus-minus of minus-10.8 in his 36 minutes, not to mention an overall net rating of minus-11.6.
Still, it’s impossible not to feel a bit bad for the guy—26 years old going on 36—especially now that he seems to have finally found a home.
“My motivation right now is the opportunity to win,” Bynum told the Indiana media during a February press conference (via Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk). “Because that’s the most fun, and just being around a positive atmosphere.”
Even if Bynum must be subjected to a strict minutes-limit, his presence on the Pacers was always meant to be more strategic—saving him for bigger playoff opponents, etc.—than indispensable.