Andrew Bynum: 5 Areas Where LA Lakers Center Must Still Improve
The majority of Lakers fans find themselves in one of two parties: those who believe Andrew Bynum is the future of the franchise and those who believe the Lakers should deal the young center if given the chance.
But fans in both parties will likely agree on one thing: There are areas where Bynum must improve if he hopes to be a dominating center in the NBA, whether it’s for the Lakers or another franchise.
Here are five areas where Bynum still needs to improve.
By no means can Andrew Bynum be considered a "knuckleheaded" NBA player.
On the other hand, he definitely shows his youth from time to time.
Like his stunt in last spring’s playoffs, when he elbowed a driving J.J. Barea before tearing off his uniform as he exited the court.
And who can forget him delaying his knee procedure in the summer of 2010 in favor of going to the World Cup, which ended up costing him more games than expected the following season?
If Bynum is going to play a huge role in the Lakers' future, he needs to mature a little bit.
4. Build More Cohesiveness with Pau Gasol
As strange as it may seem, I don’t believe Lakers fans have been treated to Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum playing their best basketball at the same time.
A lot of this has to do with all the injuries Bynum has suffered, preventing any chance of a consistent partnership being built.
Still, when Bynum and Gasol have been fully healthy, they haven't seemed to click on all cylinders.
As far as I know, they get along. So what could it be?
While this is just as much on Gasol as it is Bynum, the two need to work harder to get more comfortable with one another if the Lakers hope to get back to the NBA Finals.
3. Continue His Focus on Defense
After the All-Star break last season, Andrew Bynum unquestionably played the most consistent basketball of his young career. A lot of this had to do with his sudden focus on the defensive end instead of trying to be another scorer in an already loaded offense.
After the break, Bynum averaged 12 rebounds and more than two blocks a game, leading the team to a 17-1 record in its first 18 games after the All-Star break.
If Bynum continues to focus his energies on defense under new coach Mike Brown, Bynum, the Lakers and the fans will be smiling all season long.
Unfortunately, Andrew Bynum has not and will not be able to control if he is injured.
But wouldn't it be nice to think Bynum could spend the rest of his career without suffering a major injury, which to this point has stunted Bynum’s overall development?
If Bynum is able to stay injury-free going forward, the Lakers likely have an All-Star center on their hands for many years to come.
As I mentioned earlier, Bynum played the most consistent basketball of his career at the end of last season.
To be taken seriously, though, he must do it for a full 82-game season.
Far too often, even when 100 percent healthy, Bynum has been known to disappear in games from time to time. For instance, in a game against Atlanta last February, Bynum hauled in 15 rebounds. The next game against Portland, Bynum had four rebounds.
If he is serious about becoming an All-Star and one of the game's best players, Bynum has to be more consistent on a nightly basis.