Andrew Bynum Effect: Why Bynum Can Still Be the NBA’s Next Great Center

Sometimes it's easy to forget how good Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum could really be.

Last night's 97-84 win over the Orlando Magic served as a reminder of Bynum's enormous potential, and his performance demonstrated what type of player he can be when he approaches a contest focused and motivated.

And healthy of course.

Bynum is a lot closer to 100 percent than he was last month when Orlando beat the Lakers down right before the All-Star break, and from the outset of Monday night's game Bynum looked determined to prove that his name deserves to be mentioned with Dwight Howard's.

In the Lakers' earlier loss to Orlando, Howard dominated the interior scoring 31 points and collecting 13 rebounds, easily winning his individual matchups with Bynum and forward Pau Gasol.

On Monday night Bynum had 14 rebounds in the first half alone, but the most impressive part of his game was his defense against Howard.

Lakers' coach Phil Jackson says he is sometimes amazed at how big, strong and coordinated Bynum is, and that if he ever found a way to stay healthy and put it all together, then he could be one of the best true centers the league has seen in years.

Bynum's strong physical play against Howard in the post may mean that he is finally grasping the meaning of Jackson's words, and the fact that Bynum recently defined his own role with the team shows that he is maturing.

Bynum has said that his main focus down the stretch run will be defense and rebounding, and he understands that his offense comes secondary to the Lakers' goal of a third consecutive NBA championship.

Bynum finished last night's game with 10 points, 18 rebounds, four blocks and he more than held his own against Howard who finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

I am hesitant to call this a statement game for Bynum but it does continue an impressive string of performances that...

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