Andrew Bynum motivated Nuggets when he said close out games were easy

Lakers fans looking for someone to blame for the 102-99 Game 5 loss to the Nuggets on Tuesday night have a scapegoat: Andrew Bynum.

The Lakers center said prior to the potential series-ending game that “Close-out games are actually kind of easy. Teams tend to fold if you come out and play hard in the beginning, so we want to come out and establish an early lead and protect it.”

His words turned into motivation for the Nuggets which went up by 15 at times during the fourth quarter.

“All of us read that and we definitely wanted to prove him wrong and we did,” said center JaVale McGee, who had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

After his team lost, Bynum was asked if he regretted his remarks.

“No,” Bynum said. “We didn’t get out to a good start and we lost, so I guess the same holds true.”

Kobe Bryant was asked about Bynum’s bulletin board comments and agreed they probably motivated Denver.

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George Karl says Andrew Bynum played illegal defense for his 10 blocks

After being completely dominated by Andrew Bynum and the Lakers on Sunday afternoon, Nuggets coach George Karl was understandably frustrated. His team had just lost Game 1 by a score of 103-88, and Bynum tied a playoff record by blocking 10 shots. According to Karl, however, the Lakers center did so illegally.

“(Bynum) was playing nice illegal defense,” Karl said in his postgame press conference according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. “He zoned up good. I think we got one illegal defense (called against the Lakers). I saw about 30.”

Bynum was indeed called for a defensive three-second violation late in the third quarter, but that was it. As long as the defensive player is “actively guarding” an opponent — or within an arm’s length of them — it is technically not illegal defense. Karl complained to the officials several times but failed to change their minds.

“It just isn’t going to be called,” Karl continued. “We know it’s not going to be called. It’s just not a thing that’s called. We play too fast sometimes and we don’t let the call happen and then other times, the action creates the vision of the referees. (Bynum) was sensational defensively. Pau Gasol was good out front and they did a great job protecting the basket.”

Karl later added that the Nuggets would not have won even if the call was made more, and hes right. The Lakers blocked 15 shots as a team, and it’s unlikely the officials missed 15 illegal defense calls. Denver has to find a way to overcome L.A.’s size if they want to hang around in the series.

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Andrew Bynum not interested in Olympics team, prefers to take care of his legs

Dwight Howard’s back surgery created a need for more depth at center on the USA Basketball Olympics team, but don’t expect Andrew Bynum to fill the spot.

Bynum, who is considered by many to be the second-best center in the game behind Howard, says he prefers to rest his legs in the offseason.

“Probably not,” Bynum said after Friday’s loss to the Spurs, when asked if he would consider playing in the Olympics. “I’ve got to take care of my legs in the offseason.

“I’ve got some things (treatment) planned on my knees. I need it. I need to have some therapy,” he told reporters.

Bynum did not play in the 2008 Olympics because he was coming off a knee injury, and he has not been contacted by USA Basketball this week since the Howard news. The big men on the roster include Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, Chris Bosh, and Blake Griffin.

Chairman Jerry Colangelo confirmed on Friday that Lamar Odom, who was on the 2008 gold medal-winning team and one of the 20 finalists for the 2012 team, is not being considered.

“Lamar Odom had a year that is a forgettable year for him,” Colangelo said. “I don’t think he possibly, physically or emotionally, could be ready to participate and contribute.”

Anyone who may consider Bynum selfish for prioritizing his personal health over trying to help his country win a gold medal should consider a few things. One, the international game doesn’t require as much brute at center as the NBA, so Team USA should manage without him. Two, everyone should be thankful that Andrew Bynum is finally showing responsibility. Do you recall how immature he was when dealing with his last two injuries?

Andrew Bynum cusses in postgame interview (Video)

Andrew Bynum may have grabbed 30 rebounds in Wednesday’s win over the Spurs, but he was clearly dissatisfied with his 7-20 shooting performance. During his postgame interview on KCAL9, Bynum said he “shot like s***.”

Luckily for the Lakers Bynum’s shooting didn’t keep them from winning because they had Metta World Peace go 10-15 and 5-8 on threes. The Lakers are still four and a half games behind the Spurs in the Western Conference standings despite the win.

H/T Danny Lee

Phil Jackson on Andrew Bynum: Everyone should relax and watch him grow up

The type of year Andrew Bynum is having with the Lakers is the one everyone has been waiting for since he entered the league in 2005 — statistically that is. Bynum is averaging a double-double with more than 18 points and 11 rebounds per game. He has been dominant at times on the court, but it is his attitude off of it that has created major problems in Los Angeles. His former coach Phil Jackson doesn’t seem to think it’s as big of an issue as we’re making it out to be.

“Bynum is not quite mature, but everyone should relax and watch him grow up,” Jackson said in an email to the L.A. Times. “This year has been a big step for him offensively…nice to see…and when he takes up the mantle as defensive captain the Lakers can get back in the hunt.”

Spoken like a true Zen Master. Very few people have questioned Bynum’s physical talent, but the last few weeks have been rocky between him and Mike Brown. The 7-footer was benched for taking a three-pointer against the Warriors — which he thought was hilarious — and ejected from a game a little over a week later for taunting the Rockets bench. In between those incidents, he was fined for missing a meeting with the team’s GM. Bynum has also admitted that he doesn’t partake in team huddles.

Considering Jackson has more championship rings than fingers, it’s safe to assume he knows how to handle difficult players. That being said, the Lakers coaches have to find a way to coexist with Bynum without allowing him to disrespect the team. If the only way for Bynum to bud into a star is for Brown and company to let him do whatever he wants, the relationship will only get worse.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk
Photo credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

Andrew Bynum ejected after taunting Rockets bench (Video)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Andrew Bynum did something stupid in a game. No, he didn’t attempt a three-pointer this time, but he did taunt the Rockets bench after making a nifty left-handed hook shot … and he did it right in front of a referee. As far as inappropriate conduct goes, this was nothing compared to the body check on J.J. Barea, but it was Bynum’s second technical foul of the game which results in an automatic ejection.

The ejection was just pure stupidity by Bynum. The Lakers were down one at the time of the ejection and Bynum was playing well. Getting benched for a dumb move during a game where they’re up big is one thing, but getting ejecting for doing something stupid in a close game is another. You just hope he matures at some point.

Video via @Jose3030

Andrew Bynum doesn’t think fine, benching were warranted

Andrew Bynum remains defiant in the face of discipline from the Lakers. Speaking with ESPN’s Heather Cox after the Lakers beat the Clippers on Wednesday night in LA, Bynum said the fines and benching he received weren’t deserved.

“I didn’t think it was warranted,” Bynum said of the fines and benching. “I don’t think you [should] get benched for that. It is what it is, though.”

“Can’t nobody do nothing to me that’s going to make me second-guess myself on the court. I shot another three tonight, and they fouled me, but they didn’t call it,” he said.

Bynum, for some reason, seems proud about expanding his game to include three pointers. He also doesn’t think a fine was necessary even though he reportedly blew off a meeting with the team’s GM.

I’m not sure why I would expect Bynum to act contrite. He needs to be punished more severely for any message to have an impact. And as long as he keeps playing as well as he did on Wednesday night, he’ll have even less motivation to cooperate with the team.