Denver: Say hello to Mt. Bynum.

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SPQR
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“He just destroyed everything we wanted to do on offense. We just couldn’t do what we wanted when he was on the floor. He was the difference when our teams met.”

No, that wasn’t George Karl talking about Andrew Bynum performance today against the Nuggets.

That was Jerry West talking about the difference between his great Lakers teams and the Celtics that beat them in seven finals. Russell was the defensive stopper who was the difference between victory and defeat. But it could have been a Nugget player or George Karl describing Andrew Bynum’s NBA record tying defensive performance today as he led the Lakers in crushing the Denver Nuggets 103 to 88 and the words would have been just as accurate, the ideal of total defensive destruction just as resonate.

Colorado is known as the Rocky Mountain state, because of the towering peaks of the Rockies that dominate the horizon for miles around. Anyone who has been in Colorado and seen those mountains knows just how huge, how unbelievable intimidating they can be. And today, Denver, in LA, found themselves staring at the most intimidating mountain they have seen all year: Andrew Bynum.

Who can blame them if they for a two and half hours today, they thought they were back in Rocky Mountain state. And it became obvious very early that Mt. Bynum was one peak that the Nuggets were wholly, inadequately prepared to climb.

Coming into the game, Denver felt they could match up with Drew and Pau because they had their double brace of seven footers. But having four seven footers is one thing, to have two seven footers with the talents of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol are another. Size doesn’t equal talent or ability and size without talent or ability is like having no size at all. Most especially when you have to go against talent that has size.

This win was engineered like all this teams wins should: With the two seven footers dominating the Denver Nuggets. It was Drew’s defense and rebounding and Pau’s passing looking all the world like a seven foot point guard , and both their very efficient scoring that set a tone for this team that Denver just could not match.

Andrew Bynum had the Lakers first playoff triple double since 1991 when Magic Johnson turned the trick. Drew with his 10 blocks also surpassed The Cap, Abdul Jabbar’s previous LA playoff record of nine blocks with his league tying tenth. Magic and Jabbar. That is some company young Drew is writing records with.

Devin Ebanks was terrific again in lieu of Metta. He may not be as big as Metta, not as strong as Metta, but he moves better, is faster and brings things to the team that Metta can’t.

Jordan Hill continues to be the X factor. And if he can keep this up, there is no telling how valuable he may end up being in this playoff run. Although he does not pass like Lamar, he is giving us Lamar’s rebounding, or more, and his size. And a toughness as well. With Hill, suddenly, we have another huge body in the front court. But right now, it’s a third huge body that can really play and contribute.

Steve Blake once again came through with clutch outside shooting which is of paramount importance to this team because of the way the defenses will stack up inside to take away our biggest edge.

With the play of Ebanks, Blake and Hill, we are getting solid contributions to form an effective bench we really didn’t have for most of the year. It is a welcome addition at this late date. Another welcome addition was the very tight and energetic defense the team played for most of the game. A must if we are to have any chance the next series.

This series is not just something to get through in order to get to the next level; it is one last shot at honing a method, an identity, an ability to learn to impose a style and will on the other team that we will so desperately need in the next series against Oklahoma. It is one last chance to get to where we need to be if we are to get another title this year.

It was good start in all regards. Let’s hope it’s something this team builds on as the games continue and move to Denver.

Mountain climbing can be dangerous, fatal even, if you are not prepared. Many have attacked mountains with confidence, only to disappear in the cold mists, the thin air and unforgiving and dangerous terrain. And today Denver learned that Colorado isn’t the only state that has a very big, very large, very difficult mountain to climb. Denver, say hello to Mt. Bynum and strap on that mountain climbing gear, because it's easy to just disappear up there.

lakerdude
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Good sh*t SPQR. Bynum is a force. This playoff season is going to be Bynum's coming out party. He's been injured going into past playoff games, but now he's healthy. I seriously believe if we make it and win the title, that Drew will be the finals MVP. I've said it all year, and nothings changed. We've been with him all year, you and I. He will prove the doubters on this site wrong. It's going to be fun.

Everville
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Agreed! I was just thinking something similar. Especially on Hill, dude is a talent and an unexpected one for many. I've been hoping he'd get a shot but I had no idea he'd have this kind of an impact, to be honest. Exciting playoffs to come!

LALayup
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Great stuff Randy! George Karl's "30 illegal defenses by Bynum" was one of the most pathetic things I've ever heard a coach utter after a playoffs game. I have a feeling even he knew it was weak!

I don't disagree with your statement that Ebanks brings some things to the game that Metta does not, but I would only add that Metta also brings several things to the game that Ebanks simply cannot bring both defensively and offensively. That will become more evident against other opponents with more high quality players. But Ebanks is certainly stepping in and helping out right now. His play is crucial. But we will need to have Metta back in the fold to overcome several other teams.

That was a very unselfish approach to that game by everyone on the team. If the Lakers can stick with that approach, they will be oh so tough to beat. And defense will remain the key.

MSDS
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Lakers will go as far as Bynum will take them.. everybody looks like a supporting cast to him today...

LakeRobert
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Fantastic piece, Randy. The most beautiful part was that Bynum had only 1 personal foul amidst all those blocks.

My favorite part of today's game was in Bynum's post-game interview when he made that "note to self" and said how he realized when he focuses on defense, his team does exceedingly well. I hope he brings more of that, and less 30-pt performances, to the playoffs.

14ALL41
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Bynum needs to remain focused and engaged on defense, but that doesn't mean that he can't contribute on the other end of the floor as well. The Lakers need to keep him in the offense and look for him more for lobs. Bynum is not only an efficient scorer, he can open things up for others.

(Note to Coach Brown: when the defense double-teams Bynum, the uncovered man should cut to the basket instead of standing around like a spectator.)

lakerfan8
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^ this

onion
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dat shi cray cray

thatguyoverthere
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Everyone on the Lakers took what was given to them in the flow of the game. At one point, Blake and Ebanks were the leading scorers. For Bynum, it was the record-tying 10 blocks in the playoffs, and boy was that amazing. Next game, Bynum might be given more space to operate on offense and left wide open at times, which is when the Lakers' ball-handlers need to key in on him and get him the ball when others are guarded tightly.

lakeshowsd
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Randy,

Amazing post as usual. It's terrific that these kind of writings can be submitted about Bynum and it's been very enjoyable to see him grow into the star player that he clearly is today. For years people like you and I have been saying that Andrew will be a top tier player and now that his time has arrived, it's nice to be able to say "yes, we are absolutely correct about Bynum all along." A lot of Bynum's biggest and most unfair critics have been largely silenced this year, and their silence speaks volumes.

SPQR
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Dude, Steve, Dan, LakerRobert:

Thanks for the nice words and thanks to everyone who took the time to read the post.

Dude, Steve:

I wrote that post, not as an I-told-you-so to Drews critics, but really just in admiration of watching a single player shut down an entire team. You don't see that very often, do you? Although I must have seen Kareems then LA record nine blocks, I don't remember it. Maybe it was in the mid 70's and I didn't see it. Drew not only tied the NBA record for playoff blocks in a game, but blocked an incrediable 11 percent of Denvers shots, lol. Not to mention how many more shots he altered or even prevented from going up through the intimidation factor. It must have been somewhat similar to how teams felt facing Russell. It was amazing to watch. Ill bet even more amazing for Denvers players to experience.

You guys and me and others have been in endless Drew debates with critics, but I have always felt Drew will write the ultimate rebutal to his critics. I always felt time and patience would end that debate with force. And now Drew is doing just that in spades.

And yes, Steve and Dude, for longtime Drew supporters, it is great to see him coming to fruition.

LakerRobert,

Yes, one foul with all those blocks. Im sure we all remember a time when Drew would pick up three fouls just coming onto the court before the opening tip.

That "note to self" was funny. I caught that too. Lets see how long the note lasts. And who speaks like that? It was funny. lol.

MDS,

Drew can influence a game more than any other Laker, because of his ability on both ends of the floor. We will go as far as he takes us, as you say. But he has to live up to that burden. And the rest of the team has to play hard and SMART too. If either side fails to do it, we are finished.

Quote:

Bynum needs to remain focused and engaged on defense, but that doesn't mean that he can't contribute on the other end of the floor as well. The Lakers need to keep him in the offense and look for him more for lobs. Bynum is not only an efficient scorer, he can open things up for others.

(Note to Coach Brown: when the defense double-teams Bynum, the uncovered man should cut to the basket instead of standing around like a spectator.)

Quote:

Everyone on the Lakers took what was given to them in the flow of the game. At one point, Blake and Ebanks were the leading scorers. For Bynum, it was the record-tying 10 blocks in the playoffs, and boy was that amazing. Next game, Bynum might be given more space to operate on offense and left wide open at times, which is when the Lakers' ball-handlers need to key in on him and get him the ball when others are guarded tightly.

14All14, Thatguyoverthere:

I agree with you. Drew should play as circumstance permits. If a team single covers him, or the double team doesn't come fast, then let him score too. Because he is unstoppable down low in those circumstances. He has the offense skill. To not use it when teams make it very applicable, is dumb.

It was a great team effort. Blake and Ebanks were right there, indespensible in our win. So was the D. Just a very nice team effort and win. Gives Denver something to think about for damn sure.

Axle
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LOL! Yea lakeshowsd. I like that (YOU AND I) doh

Bynun done what we have been asking him to do and to play defense, Block shots, and rebound. Offense leave it to the Black Mamba and the boys. They will win this game one way or another.

That was one game, lets hope Bynum keeps that defensive attitude because sometimes he wants to be the MAN and starts jacking up shots even if he is doubled or tripled which is not good. But if he just plays team ball and concentrate on defense, the Lakers will be fine.

This mess that Hill got into in Texas is going to hurt the Lakers. He was playing real good with Pau in the absence of Bynum. Hope he gets out of his assault charge.

lakeshowsd
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^^ Haha, Axle took the bait.

Axle
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What you don't understand lakeshowsd is that I really like Bynum. IF he plays the way the coaches want him to play defense, rebound and block shots, we will all like Andrew.

Being in management for forty two years I know that in order to be successful you have to play as a team. And right now what we need from Andrew is exactly what I have been posting all season long, rebound, defense and some block shots. He done it last night and that was beautiful. I can honestly say he done his job to perfection. Fact the whole team played with great passion.

Now those are the pluses for Bynum. Now , what I do not like about Bynum or any player is attitude problems. You just don't know which Andrew is going to show up. I have seen both sides of Andrew and I sure don't like when he starts pouting and no effort on a game. I would rather see a Bynum that was trying his best even if he was punked by an other player. I like effort, and that is why I have always liked Bryant. He gives the game 100% all the time. Sometimes he has a hard time hitting his shots, but he will find a way to get those points. Either by getting his defender up in the air and getting fouled, even if he misses the field shot, but he will get it on the free throw line. Or he will stop shooting from long distance and will start to post or something else, but he works on his game of scoring. And like Hubie and Vangundy have said many times. That is what separates Kobe from other super star guards, he has fantastic foot work and finds ways to attack the rim.

LOL! So you think I took the bait? So are you admitting you are a troller? There are several trolling, but that is not good for this forum.

I was laughing because you are trying to draw SPQR into your side of defending Bynum. Let me tell you SPQR is one of the most intelligent poster I have ever seen. And you might think he is backing you, but he has his own mind. And I am sure he wants Andrew to play defense, rebound and block shots, and if there is a chance to score, why not. But I am positive he does not want Andrew just to be all offense and no defense. He does not need you or me to express himself.

But I laughed at the (YOU AND I) thing.

SPQR
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Axle,

Both you guys are great posters, fans and long time LTB vets.

Axle, me and Steve go back a looooooong way in defending Drew against a onslaught of what both saw as premature, unfair attacks on a guy who was the youngest player ever drafted, had no bball experience at all and had to fight through injuries. Me and Steve have traveled a very long, hard road together with our support of Drew, lol.

Me and Steve both felt those who were judging Drew all those years were way off the mark, way too impatient, way too unfair and to be frank, so clearly, totally wrong in their views and expectations of a player battling what Drew had to battle.

We both also saw the talent this kid had. He showed it many times. Both Steve and I were often dumbfounded that others didn't see that talent at all and dismissed Drew as a no talent.

So you have to understand, Axle, me and Steve and some others were getting plenty of heat for sticking with Drew. Through the learning process, through the trade him for Melo and Dwight and others, through the injuries. Through years of this. So Steve is happy with what is happening with Drew. So am I. And I know you are too. As any true Lakers fan should be. I mean a great Drew is great for the team, no matter what anyones previous opinion was about him.

Now as to what I want from Drew? Well, it is effort and smarts. Just like I want from every player. I don't think if Drew doesn't rebound or play D, we have any chance to win this. I also think if Kobe doesn't play smart offense, not try to play hero ball, then we have no chance either. I think ALL the players on this team must play smart and must play D. If that doesn't happen, we have no chance.

As to Drews scoring? Well, I will repeat here what I have said many times over the last two years. This team, should never know, going into a game, who will be the big scorer. It could be Kobe, could be Drew, could be Pau, hell, on occasion maybe Sessions or someone else.

I think the shooting perponderance should go according to who we play, what defense they show, the matchups, the mismatches and who on the Lakers is hot. All those things should go into who gets the most shots from us in a given game. And I also think, in MANY games, the shot despersion should be widely spead between Kobe, Drew, Pau, Metta, Sessions and even others like Blake or Barnes.

This team has the abilty to attack any defense, if they play smart. Hero ball, egos, is the fastest way for us to get kicked to the curb.

So I would say, Drew must defend rebound. And also, the scoring should go according to each games circumstance. I would not limit Drews scoring, nor would I say he should be at the forefront. Each game and series should be predicated on smart ball and what gives us, the Lakers, the best edge.

By the way Axle, thanks for the very nice comments. I also like a read you posts every time I see them. Because I know it will be worth my while. We don't always agree, but we do many times, and even when we don't, still very much interested and rewarded by reading what is on your mind on any subject.

You are one of the posters who really make LTB a much better place and the best Lakers forum on the net.

lakeshowsd
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Hey Axle,

You take the things I say far too seriously. Just relax.

I don't really have a problem with you but you're always attacking my posts and many of the times you assume I'm spouting hate even when I'm just stating cold, hard facts about certain players. You seem to subscribe to some interesting theories that I am in fact all these other site members, and it appears as though you're on some persistent mission to reveal me as nothing but a troll and have me banned from the site. I'm not a troll, Axle and I'm not going anywhere.

Honestly, you're just wasting your time by trying to tear me down all the time, and you should probably place me on Ignore if you really don't like my posts. That would be the most mature thing to do.

MSDS
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Yeah this kobesters are too sensitive, they just can t be happy for the new franchise player..

dont ya worry Bynum will deliver kobe his sixth ring.. nice gesture by the new king to the old

makeman
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I wonder if he can do it again or was it just luck.

Tailspin
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I will take the sixth championship for Kobe, I don't care who is responsible for getting it.

Where.LA.Happens
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Tailspin wrote:
MSDS wrote:
Yeah this kobesters are too sensitive, they just can t be happy for the new franchise player..

dont ya worry Bynum will deliver kobe his sixth ring.. nice gesture by the new king to the old

I will take the sixth championship for Kobe, I don't care who is responsible for getting it.

Exactly. Can we stop discussing who's the franchise player. Its always the same with your posts MSDS. You're always bringing up how Bynum is now the franchise player. I don't know if you've noticed, but its Playoff time now, franchise player isn't even a worry on our list. Team play is. That's all we care about, not who we should build this team around. This team should be built around each other, that's if they want their championship this year.

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