Andrew Bynum touched the floor for the first time since joining the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. His first action was to notch an easy two points with a dunk. The center who has had a tumultuous NBA career continued to have a productive night on the floor on the way to a timely win for Indiana over the Boston Celtics.
Playing just 16 minutes off of the bench, Bynum was still able to put up eight points, 10 rebounds and one assist on 3-4 shooting from the floor and 2-3 shooting from the foul line. His minutes off of the bench gave the Pacers reserves a lift offensively and he also did a solid job of helping to clog the lane and keep their defense thriving with Roy Hibbert on the bench.
After such a successful debut, there were plenty singing the praises of Bynum with some calling him the x-factor and their savior. While that could very well wind up being true down the home-stretch of the regular season, it seems to me like there is much more that we need to see from Bynum before we jump to those conclusions.
For starters, the Pacers were up against a Celtics team that has struggled defensively this season and that lacks big men that can match up physically with a player like Bynum. Moreover, it’s not like Bynum didn’t have his moments with the Cleveland Cavaliers before that experiment ultimately failed.
There is undoubtedly still value to be had with Bynum as a center in this league. He’s far too physically demanding and skilled for their not to be, especially if he’s healthy. If there’s one thing that his career thus far has taught us, though, it’s that we should always wait a bit to see how things pan out. Even after a nice effort to start his time with the Pacers, waiting to see still seems like the best strategy.