Friday night Andrew Bynum lines up against Dwight Howard as the Lakers face the Magic in Orlando.
So, please use this small sample size to decide that Bynum should/should not be traded for Howard. We all know one game tells you all you need to know, not how a player performs over a stretch of years.
Bynum played the diplomat when asked to compare himself to Howard, via Andy Kamenetzky at ESPNLosAngeles.com.
“The guy is definitely more proven … so for myself, 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, the way he rim-runs, and gets low and things like that. It’s a fun game.”
Well, unless you’re the guy that has to cover him. That’s much less fun.
“It’s tough,” admitted Bynum. “You don’t want to get embarrassed, so you have to bring your A-game.”
With Bynum the Lakers have the personnel that can give the Magic trouble — they struggle against teams that have a big that can match up with Howard, allowing them not to double and stay home on perimeter shooters. As a team, the Magic are shooting 41.1 percent from beyond the arc, and they do a fantastic job of taking the three and not the long two pointer. Ryan Anderson has been fantastic, averaging 17.8 points per game and playing at an All-Star level (his PER is actually higher than Howard’s right now).
It will be a good game. Just be sure not to draw too big a conclusion from it.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.