Does the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum compare with Dwight Howard?

A sneak-peak at tomorrow’s story tonight …

MIAMI — Andrew Bynum was matched against the Miami Heat’s Joel Anthony on Thursday night, which was a big mismatch in Bynum’s favor. After all, Bynum stands 7-foot and weighs 285 and Anthony is relatively pint-sized at 6-9, 245.

The bigger test will be tonight when Bynum faces Orlando’s Dwight Howard for the only time this season, the player he admires more than any other NBA center and the man some pundits around the league believe he could be traded for sooner or later.

Lakers executive Jim Buss isn’t among them, but that’s a story for another day. It might not be worth it for the team to swap Bynum for Howard since Bynum could be the better of the two behemoths, especially with the ball in his hands.

Bynum is averaging 16.3 points on 52.9 percent shooting and 13.8 rebounds after he had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the Lakers’ 98-87 loss against the Heat. Howard is averaging 20.1 points on 58.7 percent shooting and a league-leading 15.6 rebounds.

“The guy is definitely more proven,” Bynum said of Howard. “I always look up to him and want to be able to get the ball and do the things he does with it. I think I learn a lot from watching him play. … It’s a fun game (to play against him).”

So, who is the better big man?

Depends who you ask.

Shaquille O’Neal, a former Lakers center and a current TNT commentator, gave the edge to Bynum on Monday, telling viewers: “Andrew Bynum is a true big man with a back you down jump hook. Dwight Howard has one or two moves on the block. Andrew Bynum has a right jump hook and a left jump hook. He’s a true big man.”

Charles Barkley, O’Neal’s TNT sidekick, voted for Howard.

“Dwight Howard is a much better defender and a better rebounder,” he said.

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