Pacers Sign Andrew Bynum

PacersBynum

You might want to get used to this because the Pacers signed Andrew Bynum on Saturday. The former Laker, 76er and Cavalier is going to make a big Indiana team even bigger. They’ll be getting a guy who played 24 games this season before leaving Cleveland on not the greatest of terms. He’s  temperamental, but he’s still capable of scoring and rebounding.

In 15 of those games Bynum scored under 10 but in seven of them he scored above that mark and in two he scored 20. He can still rebound too, and in most of his games averaged over 10 percent of the total rebounds. That said, his play has been average for most of the games,  nothing that turns Indiana into an unstoppable juggernaut.

Is he an improvement? Let’s take a look at how he stacks up with current back up center, Ian Mahinmi.

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Bynum’s role hasn’t been defined by coach Frank Vogel yet other than they’ll take their sweet time as they get him ready to play Pacers basketball. The first thing I see is he’s a more prolific rebounder than Mahinmi offensively and defensively. Bynum played 20 minutes a game compared to Mahinmi’s 16 and Bynum was a starter in 19 of the 24 games he played in.  While you can see Bynum’s usage rate was much higher consider their different roles when making direct comparisons. One other way Bynum has an advantage over Mahinmi is a slightly bigger shooting range. Ian needs to be right at the rim whereas Bynum can step away towards the top of the key and still knock down a shot. What Ian has in a slightly better shooting percentage Bynum, the new addition makes up by not turning the ball over nearly as often. ESPN’s Zach Lowe also pointed out that Bynum protects the rim rather well, keeping opponents to 37.5 percent shooting within five feet, slightly better than Ian’s 42.9 percent.

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Of course the real concern isn’t whether the Bynum can produce, but if he will alter the Pacers locker room chemistry negatively. Indiana’s fans are hoping the veterans will keep him in line. Personally, I’m not too concerned. This is also a contract for the rest of the season so it won’t affect how the Pacers go about resigning Lance Stephenson or Danny Granger.t. This isn’t the first time Indiana has flirted with Bynum, as Larry Bird told Buckner in January that he would do whatever he thinks makes the team better.

“That’s all rumor. But I’m going to do what I think is going to make us better. I live this. The moves I make might be the wrong moves, but whoever it is, if I think it’s going to make us better, I’ll bring him in. That’s what I get paid to do,” Bird said.

So assuming he isn’t a locker room cancer now that he’s back on a contender, and one they will cut if they needed to anyway, what is the downside of adding him? I don’t see why he couldn’t be an addition to an average second unit. The Pacers are comfortable in their identity as a team, Bynum is in the position where it is either shaping up or shipping out. It is up to him to fit in, not the team to adapt to him. You think David West is going to put up with that behavior? Doubtful.

 

I’m also excited about the comical possibilities both on and off the court.

Obviously Mahinmi is not excited about the news  but is being professional about it. We’ll find out what the rest of the team thinks as well.It looks like Bird is very confident in how the locker room will handle this. Larry said he is in the now, and he’s only worried about winning this year.

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  • Realist

    It has nothing to do with being better than Ian or anything like that. Apart from the obvious kicker that it simply means he doesn’t sign with anyone else, like I said on facebook:

    Good third string center. Gives us 6 extras fouls and insurance for Roy and Ian. Anything more is a huge bonus and should hopefully more than offset anything that Miami are planning to crowbar out of Greg Oden’s corpse.

    • Ben Gibson

      If it is to prevent anyone else from signing him, he can still provide help to the Pacers. He’s a better rebounder and shooter than Mahinmi. He’s going to provide flexibility to the roster especially when the bigs get into foul trouble. It is all just speculation for now, but I think he can be a plus to the line up.

      • Realist

        Absolutely.

        And any locker room issues, see Mr West please.

  • llcoolray3000

    Seems more like keep away than trying to legitimately improve the team. He can’t move well enough to play defense.

  • ᗪEᑎI ♛

    Mahimi cant put the ball in the ocean.He is far better than Mahimi and if he gets in the shape and does better and better on the stats before the playoffs start “vuala”

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  • Jack Wright

    this is absolutely a mistake and larry bird should be smarter than this. this is exactly why I didn’t like his comment about how he’d do anything to make the team better. We don’t want to put ourselves in any kind of situation that has a chance of biting us in the ass. Which is exactly what this is. Bringing in a washed up dude who has no motivation, a pathetic work ethic, a terrible attitude and a skillset that is mediocre at best at this stage of his career. He’s not even good anymore. what in the hell. get him out of our city

    • Philip Tarrant

      I disagree. Bynum is a very intelligent individual who has lacked motivation for basketball because of a myriad of other interests. While I have no idea how he’ll perform here and his knees are certainly still a concern, washed up is certainly a bit of an exaggeration for someone who has the skill set Bynum has and who was at one point an elite center. He’s a freak athlete, and with the coaching staff we have here who have transformed PG and Lance into the stars we see out there, I don’t think that it’s a bad decision, nor is it even much of a risk.

  • Josh Baker

    I’m much more curious to see what Bynum will do to the defense.

  • AMF1322

    On one hand, I think this team needs, just in case, a 3rd center. I thought it was going to be someone like Drew Gooden. Bynum is far a better player than Gooden, and overall, than Mahinmi.
    Do I think he could be usefull? No. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because of locker room issues or something like that (as Realist said, see Mr. West). I think he wouldn’t fit in Indiana bench unit. First of all, Mahinmi might no be even good on offense, but he’s good as a defensive center. He’s a bad-man Roy Hibbert in some ways. Bynum wasn’t the best defensive big man in the champion Lakers. And, when we see that the bench unit includes CJ Watson, Granger and Scola, you see three players who can score (they might be in a slump, specially Scola and Granger, but just got to give them time to rest and work on their shooting). Ian doesn’t ask too much for the ball because he knows he can’t shoot, but this is kind of good if you think that this bench unit has three guys capable of scoring (plus the starter that plays with this unit) and you give them more shots to get in rhythm. Bynum might be good on offense, but he would take away shots from other guys. It would be good if you have Rudy Gay in your team, but neither one of the three guys in the bench are black holes. In conclusion: I don’t think he fits.
    Signing him instead other team does it? Not a bad idea. Not so much because of Miami, but it could be trouble in Bynum ends with the Clippers, or more important, with Portland. He could let Robin Lopez rest a little bit more, and Portland could use a Bynum-Lopez combo to cut some of Aldridge’s minutes.
    I wouldn’t sign him, but, in Bird we trust.

    • Philip Tarrant

      I would much rather the Clips have gotten him than Miami. There’s not a very good chance of facing the Clippers in the playoffs, and Miami would certainly have loved to have big man depth to throw at West and Hibb in what seems a nearly inevitable Pacers-Heat conference finals. Though I guess it would have taken away from their ability to add a defensive specialist wing.

    • achoo

      word. i watched the last game he played as a Cav, it was against the Hawks and i believe it was early in the third quarter, the game was close throughout. really good game actually, i think it went into OT. anyway Bynum was running down the court like it was killing him, he basically looked like dumbass sasquatch with a gerbil up his butt. on defense, hawks are running screen n rolls with his man, Horford, and Horford is just tearing him up. He’s catching Bynum out of position, and nailing open jumpers in the same spots around the free throw line, and Bynum doesn’t even fake an effort to close out, he just concedes to sucking. this in a close game! Mike Brown eventually has seen enough, the perpetually smiling man, frowns and signals Varajoa to sub in. theres no dead ball so on the next play, Horford schools him again running the exact same play! soo bad, all Bynum does is kind of reach at him. Mike Brown cant take it anymore. he calls a second half time out in a close game JUST TO TAKE BYNUM OUT OF THE GAME.you can’t make this stuff up, he looked so so horrible.

      what was my point? oh yeah Bynum stinks now, but hopefully he gets his head on straight…. its possible. it is really possible.

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  • Alexander Grant

    good move… when the deal happened, I didn’t even think about the scenario of the Pacers preventing any team from nabbing Bynum, particularly Miami… I immediately thought of one thing… Defense… everyone knows by now that Bynum is perhaps hard to deal with and has questionable character and work ethic… but I believe Bird signed Bynum to add defensive and rebounding depth… Bynum was NOT signed to be a go to type guy on the second unit… any scoring will be a bonus… the Pacers are a pure team and play unselfish basketball and great team defense… Bynum is getting a chance to contribute on a championship contending team.. the hope is that Bynum accepts his role as a defensive anchor and the injury and work ethic woes are behind him… we shall see, however with a very low rish deal, either way the Pacers will not be affected NEGATIVELY … Bynum>Mahinmi ..

  • Ian

    There’s a very good article about Bynum signing on ESPN. Opponents shot FAR worse against Cleveland with Bynum on the floor. He’s also got better shotblocking and rebounding numbers than Mahinmi.

    Bynum has potential on offense. It’s unclear whether he was struggling on Cleveland because of his personal issues or because of their system or just because of coming back from injury

    Lets remember nearly everyone is dysfunctional playing in Cleveland. Bynum has a deserved rep for not caring, its true. But pretty much no one cares in Cleveland.

  • Damon Webster

    Here’s a trade idea that works well for both teams Granger and Hill for Carmelo it gives the Knicks a point guard and an expiring contract and the Pacers another bonafide scorer Lance and CJ can run the point starting lineup Lance (PG) Paul (SG) Melo (SF) David (PF) Roy (C) Bench – CJ (PG) Rasual or Orlando (SG) Chris (SF) Luis (PF) Andrew (C) at times or if you keep Hill you give up Granger Butler and a first rounder for Melo