For the last couple of years, basketball fans and analysts have been arguing who is the better center; Los Dwight Howard or Andrew Bynum. There are even some analysts that have said on record that they would take Bynum over Howard. But in all actuality Bynum, who has had two full seasons without any major injury, shouldn’t be in the same breath as Howard.
Howard is a top 3 player in the league and impacts the game in many areas. He is also responsible for taking the Orlando Magic to the NBA finals. In contrast, Bynum was the fourth best player on two championship teams and wasn’t even on the floor during crunch time. Advantage: Howard.
Over the summer the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers were a part of a blockbuster four-team trade that will change both teams forever in one way or another. Both of these teams added the two best players in the deal and both teams got better on paper. While Howard has returned from back surgery and is on his way to 100 percent, Bynum is more known for his hairstyles, injuries and quotes in the media these days than his play. Unfortunately, Bynum’s knees may never allow him to display his talent the way he has in the past, but even when healthy he was never better or even on par with Howard.
Even though many fans won’t admit it, there were a lot of people saying the Lakers should keep Bynum last year and let Howard go to the Brooklyn Nets. I for one was always adamant about getting Howard because he is a franchise changer. He is a guy who works hard and brings it every night. Bynum was just the opposite on the basketball court, with immaturity being the main problem; he just never seemed to get it. For every great move he would make last season, he would undo that by shooting a three pointer or disrespecting the coach by sitting away from the team during timeouts.
The biggest myth out there in discussion was that Bynum has a better offensive game than Howard does. While Bynum did have move post-up moves and better foot work he couldn’t pass out of a double team to save his life. Howard is known for having a limited offensive game because he doesn’t have the flash that Shaquille O’Neal once had. Howard is able to score in the post quite effectively and is a better than average passer out of the post. We have seen Howard carry teams with his scoring in the playoffs before and that says everything we as fans should go by. Bynum is indeed a better free throw shooter than Howard, but that’s about it.
The Lakers got the better end of this deal by far. They have been around Bynum since 2005 and they knew that if they could get Howard for him without giving up much else they would be in good shape. The Magic didn’t even want Bynum back in a package because of their various concerns. The Lakers upgraded their team during this summer by obtaining Howard and getting rid of Bynum, and that fact alone should stop the comparisons and argument about these two.