If Lakers executive Jim Buss, the son of team owner Jerry Buss, didn’t want to trade center Andrew Bynum to the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard in a swap of big men before the season began Christmas Day, how do you think he’s feeling now?
Is isn’t just that Bynum’s statistics that are so jaw-dropping, it’s how he is scoring and rebounding. Bynum has been a physical force in three games since returning from a four-game suspension for decking J.J. Barea in the playoffs last May.
He has dunked on people and knocked them around while battling for rebounds.
The difference in the numbers is staggering. Bynum is averaging 22.7 points on 62.2 percent shooting and 17 points in three games and Howard is averaging 17.7 points and 15.3 rebounds in six games. Bynum is shooting 57.1 percent at the free throw line and Howard is shooting 41.5 percent.
Now imagine what happens when Bynum finally gets into game shape.
Lakers coach Mike Brown did after watching Bynum score 21 points and grab 22 rebounds for his first 20-20 game in his career during the team’s 108-99 victory tonight over the undersized Houston Rockets at Staples Center.
“He was very productive in the 38 minutes he played,” Brown said. “His conditioning is getting a little better and if he can ever get it to a point where it’s great … oh my gosh.”
Said Pau Gasol of his fellow 7-footer: “It’s not just tonight, but the way he’s played these three games. He’s been really aggressive and really decisive and just pursuing every ball pretty much. I’m glad to see him with this level of intensity and energy and desire because it takes desire and will.”