Andrew Bynum has missed the Pacers’ last four games with knee issues
If you believe Devan the Hair Tech – and I don’t want to live in a world where you can’t believe Devan the Hair Tech – Bynum got a haircut during one of those games, Indiana’s win over the Bulls on Friday. Devan posted this to Instagram:
You know what it is. Cut the homie Pacer Center Andrew Bynum up at halftime of game. Real good dude, good convo…. #devanthehairtech #topshelf#nba #indianapacers #andrewbynum #center#pacernationFollow
If true, this is so Bynum – injured, oblivious to what’s going on around him and weirdly obsessed with his hair.
When the Pacers went out and got Andrew Bynum — paying him $1 million after the Cleveland Cavaliers traded him and the Bulls cut him — it was always a long shot. They already had Ian Mahinmi as a backup center behind Roy Hibbert. If Bynum worked out and was an upgrade, great. If not, well at least the Heat couldn’t throw him at them in the playoffs.
It looks more and more like it will be the latter outcome.
Indiana made official Friday that Bynum will be out indefinitely with “soreness and swelling in his right knee.” This echoes what Pacers coach Frank Vogel told our own Brett Pollakoff a few days ago.
“He played in the Detroit game (20 minutes), aggravated a previous condition and had some swelling in there,” Vogel said. “He’s going to be out for a little while.”
It took two games, 20 minutes in the second one, to have this setback (Bynum did have 15 points and 9 boards in that second game). Not a good sign.
Indefinitely is vague, so it is possible Bynum returns for the postseason, but if you are familiar with Bynum and his recovery timeline the odds of him being back in a month when the playoffs begin are not good. The idea of him contributing in the playoffs, at least anything of significance, is also limited at best.
The Pacers have bigger issues right now, having lost their momentum and having gone 5-5 in their last 10 (with the wins coming against the weaker sisters of the Eastern Conference, the Pacers didn’t look impressive in those games). The biggest problem is their defense has slipped from its elite levels in that time, plus there is frustration about getting good shots in the offense (we’re looking at you, Lance Stephenson). Nothing that can’t be worked out, but the Pacers haven’t been quite the same since not long after the All-Star break and they need to find that groove again soon.
Andrew Bynum will not help them with that.
NEW YORK — Andrew Bynum didn’t make the trip to New York for Wednesday night’s game against the Knicks, and the move to hold him out wasn’t simply precautionary the way it was on the first night of a back-to-back when Indiana played the Sixers on Friday.
Bynum is injured at the moment, and after experiencing some swelling which required him to have his knee drained, Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said he’s not sure how much time his new big man will miss.
“He played in the Detroit game, aggravated a previous condition and had some swelling in there,” Vogel said. “He’s going to be out for a little while.”
Bynum has looked good in the two games he’s played for Indiana — he finished with eight points and 10 rebounds in a 16-minute debut against Boston, and followed it up with 15 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes in Detroit four nights later.
But Bynum’s ability to still put up numbers wasn’t really the question when the Pacers signed him; it was whether or not he could stay on the floor. Knee issues have plagued him for well over a year now, and they seem to be showing no signs of disappearing any time soon.
A healthy version of Bynum in the postseason would be a huge boost to Indiana’s chances. But does Vogel know yet what level of production he can count on from Bynum this season?
“We don’t,” Vogel said. “You know, obviously if he’s healthy it gives us one of the best centers in the league. He’s proven that in the short time [he’s been with us] in the two games that he played here. It’s just going to be a matter of how healthy he can be.”
Well, this is not good.
We told you Andrew Bynum was out Monday night for the Pacers (a win over Philadelphia), but now he will be out at least Wednesday (at the Knicks) and maybe longer, reports Scott Agness of Pacers.com. Bynum had swelling after playing 20 minutes Sunday against Detroit… and we’re not just talking a little swelling either.
“This one is a little concerning for me because it caused a lot more fluid,” he said. “I haven’t had that much fluid in there since like the (2010) Boston Finals in L.A.”
This is why the Pacers players and organization have had a “whatever we get from Bynum we get” attitude. They were contenders with Ian Mahinmi playing the backup minutes behind Roy Hibbert and that is not changing. If Bynum could be an upgrade off the bench, great. If not, well at least he’s not playing for the Heat. Right Frank Vogel?
“[It’s] not really disappointing at all, to be honest,” he said. “We knew he was going to be in and out of the lineup. He’s got some problems with his knees, we’re well aware of that, and we’ll be excited with what he can give us when he’s in there.”
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Bynum scored 15 points and had 8 rebounds in those 20 mites against Detroit (and its big front line). Offensively his skill and touch make Bynum a considerable upgrade over Mahinmi. However, Bynum was slow on defense, both in terms of movement and recognizing his responsibility and rotations.
Andrew Bynum has been back on an NBA court for all of a week, playing in two games, he has averaged 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds a game. He played 20 minutes Saturday night in Detroit.
That was enough to lead to swelling in his knee, which will keep him out Monday night against the Sixers, coach Frank Vogel announced.
“[He] had some swelling,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said pregame, “so they did an MRI with him today and we’ll know more in the next couple of days.”
It’s not a big surprise — right now when Bynum is on the court he gives a team some offense and rebounding, a big body but not much else on defense (his recognition and rotations are slow, as you would expect of a guy who has played little in recent years). But he is just not going to be on the court consistently.
“This is what we signed up for,” Vogel said of the situation. “We knew he’s a great player with some problem area knees. He’s going to be in sometimes, he’s going to be out sometimes. We’re fully aware of that and we’ll be excited for whenever we have him in uniform.”
When they need him in uniform is the playoffs.
Ian Mahinmi will be back from bruised ribs and will resume his role as Roy Hibbert’s backup.