Detroit Pistons: Why Will Bynum is the Most Important Guard

Brett KaplanCorrespondent IIIDecember 22, 2011

AUBURN HILLS, MI - FEBRUARY 11:  Will Bynum #12 of the Detroit Pistons tries to dunk over Joel Anthony #50 of the Miami Heat at The Palace of Auburn Hills on February 11, 2011 in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Will Bynum has been the backup point guard, as well as a fan favorite, in Detroit for the past three seasons. He’s been a quiet professional who goes about his job, but seems to have been forgotten this offseason with the Rip Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey drama as well as the excitement surrounding Brandon Knight.

Bynum will be able to help the young players on the team, both in the locker room and on the floor. One of his strengths is his ability to tailor his game around the players he’s playing with. He can find the open man when needed, and once recorded 20 assists in a game against the Wizards. Besides his passing, he can also get hot offensively in a hurry and scored 26 points in one quarter against the Bobcats in 2009.

Due to Bynum’s “team-first” attitude he sometimes becomes the forgotten player, and fans tend to ignore him when trying to figure out the Pistons’ rotation. Since Ben Gordon and now Stuckey are the main shooting guards, Knight will need a mentor in adjusting to the rigors of the NBA, and he has the right one in Bynum.

Knight, along with Greg Monroe, controls the Pistons’ future in how well they fare in the near future. Knight has more responsibility than Monroe, however, since the point guard is the floor general and needs to be responsible for all of the players on the floor.

This is where Bynum can help, since he has witnessed many things in Detroit with John Kuester as head coach that many other NBA players will never encounter. By never being considered a star and having to play overseas as well as on a 10-day contract, he understands that he only has his work ethic to rely on to stay in the NBA. These experiences will allow him to mentor Knight and prepare him for the challenges of the NBA, much like the Ben Wallace and Monroe relationship.

Bynum will be turning 29 in January and has a few years left in his prime where he can be a positive sounding board for Knight, as well as a team sparkplug off the bench when called upon. Stuckey has always been a “me-first” player in his career, and that’s why the team has wisely decided that he is best as a shooting guard and not as a point guard.

From all reports so far, Knight has been a great teammate and has been willing to learn, so Bynum will find a receptive student in Knight and will be able to help develop his career. That is why Bynum will be an even bigger fan favorite even though he’ll be doing it from behind the scenes.

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