DALLAS, TX - MARCH 12: Center Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers gets the slam dunk against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on March 12, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Psssht! Like you didn't know?
Bynum is smashing, the Lakers are rolling, and all of a sudden, the Western Conference looks mighty easy again. His defense and rebounding continue to be the rock that the Lakers have pounded their supposed Western Conference challengers into submission with. The Spurs? Bynum ate up whatever Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili cooked up, he made you think Tim Duncan retired during the game, and the Lakers rolled. They might as well have told San Antonio they can take home-court Advantage and shove it. The Mavs? So much for that length they added. Big Drew beasted for 22 points and 15 rebounds and was clearly the best player on the floor. Think about that. In a game with Kobe, Pau and Dirk Nowitzki, it was Bynum who looked like the unstoppable one?
Against Atlanta, he only went for 16 points and 16 rebounds while making you wonder if Al Horford was really an All-Star. Then he shook off a poor one-rebound first half against Miami to finish with 12 rebounds total and 13 points to go along. Even though the Lakers lost to Miami, they were in the game until the very end, and I can't help but feel that if his number was called just a little bit more, the outcome could have been different. But we'll save the second-guessing. "Shoulda Coulda Woulda" is a one-way street that circles around in Nowhereland. Except, the Beast wears #17 for the Lakers and has them back on the road to the Finals.
It might be Kobe who winds up going toe to toe with Derrick Rose for MVP, but I'd gladly give Player of the Week to Bynum for the rest of the season if it allows the Lakers' defense to continue like this. Teams are having a damn tough time cracking 90 points, and Drew's presence has even allowed Dober-Mamba to make an appearance.
Bynum's stats for the week:
13.75 points, 15 rebounds, 1.75 blocks per game in 34 minutes per game. He shot 23 of 29 from the floor for 79.3% FG!