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Andrew Bynum: Sit Down and Shut Up

Prashant ShuklaContributor IJune 9, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 04:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to a call against the Orlando Magic in Game One of the 2009 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 4, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

I think ardent Bynum supporters are irrationally coddling a player without the basketball acumen he needs that will not come with time.

Footwork can be taught in part, but awkwardness can't be removed.

He doesn't have a nose for rebounding, you can't learn how to. Writers continually mock his vertical, as he doesn't seem to have one, or doesn't use it.

Please find me the last time a decent center got one rebound in 16 minutes of play.

I was reluctant with praise after Game One for the kid because I didn't get caught up in the 25-point win and wanted to dig deeper on the defense played on Howard.

I gave as much credit as most of the media gave Bynum after Game One in terms of presence and patrolling the paint, just in more tempered terms. I recognized that Pau had more to do with Howard's difficulties by drawing two offensive fouls.

The media and supporters didn't mention the things that Pau did and chose to defend Bynum when I wasn't attacking him, rather just downplaying his success which I thought was going overboard.

My analysis after Game One was that the media needs to relax about Howard's one field goal, because his game wasn't that bad when you looked at it closer. And in turn, the praise for Bynum reduces as we realize Howard did a little better than the media was portraying.

That isn't reluctant, it's just prudent. To not get carried away with praise when he was the majority of the reason Howard got 16 free throws. Sure he played good D some plays, but he fouled a lot as well—which is what he is supposed to do.

He didn't earn that 12 and 15 stat line for Howard on his own at all, and I would argue he contributed to the 12 points from Game One more than either Gasol or Odom, because he committed more of the shooting fouls proportionally to the time he played Howard versus the other two.

In a per-minute analysis or a per-touch analysis for Howard, I will bet you that Odom and Gasol would fare better in points allowed, rebounds allowed, and fouls given to Howard in Game One and ridiculously so in Game Two.

He needs to make Howard work harder for his boards when he is on the court.

My criticism after Game Two should be brutal. So should anybody's.

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16 minutes, 5 points, 5 fouls, 1 rebound, 2-5 for a seven-footer who is due to earn more than 60 million?

I don't even have to say anything. The stat line itself is brutal.

Excuses like youth, injury, and needing time to develop are bogus, especially if he wants to make demands through the media and criticize the most winningest coach of all-time.

If he isn't ready because of whatever reason, small or big, he should "just shut up."

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