Bynum vs. Howard: Is Bynum Proving He Can Be a Better Player Than Howard?

Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is the best center in the NBA, but the gap between Howard and Los Angeles Lakers big man Andrew Bynum is not as big as some people would have you believe.

Bynum has toiled in Howard's shadow for most of his career, and while most analysts have reluctantly ranked Bynum second among the league's players at his position, Bynum has firmly grasped that title this season.

And it's not a stretch to think that Bynum could eventually challenge Howard for the top spot.

This season, Howard is averaging 20.6 points per game, 14.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and is shooting 57.9 percent from the field. Bynum, by comparison, is averaging 18.3 points per game, 11.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and is shooting 58.3 percent from the field.

Those numbers are close enough to merit a debate that Bynum may be 1A to Howard's 1 right now, and quickly closing the gap.

Howard has a decisive edge over Bynum when it comes to athleticism and quickness, but the disparity in fundamental skill and knowledge in the paint may be just as huge in Bynum's favor.

Howard, who is a year older than Bynum, is still developing a low-post, back-to-the-basket game, while Bynum is able to score from either shoulder with either hand in the paint.

Howard uses his brutish strength to simply overpower opponents in the paint, while Bynum uses his own size and strength to establish position for good looks at the rim.

Both styles are effective, but Bynum's game fits the mold of a true low-post center, while Howard looks like an out of position power forward at times.

Of course, Howard doesn't have the privilege of playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, but if I remember correctly, there are some people who said Howard's game would suffer under those circumstances, yet Bynum has thrived.

Bynum has the skill to get his points while sharing the spotlight with two leg...

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