With a little over four minutes remaining, reserve center Andrew Bynum checked into the game for the Indiana Pacers, making his debut in the blue and gold.
It was the usual time that head coach Frank Vogel gives starter Roy Hibbert a break, and inserts Ian Mahinmi. However, with Mahinmi out and Bynum made available for the game against the Boston Celtics, it was the 7’0″ Bynum entering the game to a standing ovation from the home crowd.
Playing limited minutes because of precaution, Andrew Bynum did not disappoint. He immediately received the ball in the post over a defender, made his move and went up for a clean two-handed slam.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse erupted as did the Indiana bench. Everyone was happy to see Bynum active early, and watching the game, you could feel a renewed energy on the court from the Pacers.
The starters again came out sluggish as they have the past four games. Then the second unit entered the game, and led by Bynum, Luis Scola and Evan Turner, to push Indiana out in front, 40-31, as Celtics head coach Brad Stevens called timeout.
Overall, Bynum finished the night with eight points on 3-4 shooting and 10 rebounds in 15 minutes, nearly recording a double-double in his first game with Indiana.
Again, it was the bench that gave the Pacers a lift. Bynum as active on the glass and around the rim, Scola was knocking down open mid-range jump shots, and Turner played well on the wing. Turner seemed to mesh well with Bynum while the two were on the floor together.
Scola finished the night with 11 points (5-7 FGs) and five rebounds, while Turner added nine points (4-4 FGs) and three assists. It was a combined effort from the bench en route to 31 total points from the reserves.
Ultimately, the second unit gave Indiana a spark, and the starters closed the game out late in the fourth quarter. Boston rallied to within one before David West and Lance Stephenson made some crucial plays down the stretch.
The biggest plus on the night was the play of Andrew Bynum. Hopefully he can continue to contribute.