Andrew Bynum faced the media on Thursday, the first time he’s done so since the league handed him a two-game suspension for the flagrant-two foul he committed last Friday against the Timberwolves’ Michael Beasley.
Bynum repeatedly said how the play was “just a hard foul,” and that if Beasley didn’t get hurt or leave the game, that it “probably would have been different.” But most concerning to Lakers fans might be the part where Bynum told reporters that he wouldn’t be hesitant in making a similar play in the future and, despite the punishment from the league, he still doesn’t believe he did anything wrong.
“No,” Bynum said, when asked whether the suspension would make him hesitant once he gets back out there. “I don’t think what I did was deserving of it. I don’t think I really did anything too wrong. It was unfortunate the guy fell the way he did and got hurt, but at the end of the day, sometimes, you know, fouls happen.”
It’s one thing for Bynum not to believe he deserved the suspension, and in fact, I am in agreement with him on this point. But it’s another not to recognize how the league views these types of plays, and not to modify your behavior to avoid suspensions in the future.
Bynum can still give legal and clean hard fouls, and the team undoubtedly wants him to from time to time, in order to maintain a physical interior presence defensively. But you have to at least attempt to make a play on the ball, and you can’t lead with your elbow and then follow through with it in a violent manner that looks like you’re trying to hurt someone when the play is reviewed at full speed.
The Lakers won both of their games with Bynum unavailable, but needed late-game heroics in each to get that accomplished. They may not be as fortunate in the postseason, which is why Bynum should, at the very least, be careful of how he goes about committing these types of fouls moving forward.
The Oklahoma City frontcourt is crowded. Enes Kanter and Steven Adams will start, and they will have Nick Collison, Ersan Ilyasova, Domantas Sabonis, and now Joffrey Lauvergne behind them.
Which likely means Mitch McGary‘s done as a member of the Thunder, according to Royce Young of ESPN.
McGary has battled injuries his two seasons in the league and got on the court for only 72 minutes total last season for the Thunder (he played in more games and put up solid numbers in the D-LEague). He was not part of the future there regardless. He’s an undersized five trying to play the four and what he brought as a rookie — energy — was not enough as a sophomore.
McGary will make $1.5 million this season. He may be tough to move because he’s suspended for the first five games he’s eligible to play next season for failing the league’s drug policy (five games is the standard suspension for testing positive for marijuana three times). Maybe a team looking to develop players will give him a shot, but there is little trade value for him.
If you can knock down a 19-foot shot, then a 15-footer should be easier. Right?
Apparently that — and just basic muscle memory — is the latest attempt to improve Dwight Howard‘s free throw shooting. And, he seems to be knocking down those shots.
It’s not hard to see the logic in this approach.
The challenge is form and reps are not the problems for Howard — or DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond or others — when it comes to hitting free throws. Anyone who says “why don’t they just practice the shot” doesn’t pay attention, these guys put in a lot of work on the shot. Pregame and in practice (I’m Los Angeles based), Jordan probably hits 65 percent from the line. At least.
The problem is mental. That can be a tougher hurdle to clear. Maybe taking 19 footers and knocking them down will have Howard feeling more confident at the stripe this season.
But we’re going to need to see it to believe it. Just like we’re going to have to see a rejuvenated Howard in Atlanta before we believe this season will be different from the last few.
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.
After five years in Washington, French forward Kevin Seraphin signed a one-year deal in New York last offseason. He played 48 games for the Knicks, averaging 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 11 minutes per game and wasn’t a big part of their rotation. Now, as a free agent, he’s looking for a new NBA home, and Yann Ohnona of L’Equipe reports that he’s worked out for the Indiana Pacers and has interest from the Spanish club FC Barcelona.
The translation of that tweet reads:
Kévin Seraphin, always courted by Barcelona, is in the United States for a trial with the Pacers of Indiana
With Barcelona in pursuit, Seraphin appears to have a solid fallback option if he can’t land a spot on an NBA team. He can be useful as a fourth or fifth big, it’s just a matter of a team having room.