Why Andrew Bynum Is More Valuable to Kobe Bryant Than Shaquille O’Neal Ever Was

Looking at the beginning of the 2012 NBA playoffs, one could make the case that Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum is the early MVP of the postseason.

Bynum has averaged a solid 18.5 PPG, 11.0 RPG and six BPG with a crazy efficiency rating of 30.08 throughout two games. 

His play sort of reminds you of another former Lakers big man in Shaquille O'Neal.

While there is no comparing Bynum's career to date to that of O'Neal's, you can make the case that he's more valuable to Kobe Bryant right now than the legendary Shaq ever was.

The scary part about Bynum's game is that he's capable of doing even more.  

He followed up his triple-double in Game 1 with a dominating 27 points, nine rebounds and zero turnovers despite a chaotic Nuggets defense that was scrambling and double-teaming. Even more important, Bynum more than doubled the offensive output of all three of the Nuggets' capable centers, who combined for 13 points in 47 minutes of play.

Denver's had no answer for him at the defensive end and they've tried to avoid him when they have the ball. Bynum has completely controlled the area within three feet of the rim and that is the story of this series thus far .

He compliments Bryant perfectly and as good as Shaq and Kobe were together, that wasn't necessarily the case. Sure they produced positive results, but both guys needed the ball and while that worked for them together, it's something that doesn't necessarily work often in the NBA.

Then there was the friction between the two. Sure the Lakers have had to deal with their share of drama this season, but that's minor compared to the Shaq and Kobe feud.

The great thing about Bynum is that he doesn't have to be a big part of the offense.

Sure the Lakers are better when they play inside-out, but Bynum will impact the game no matter how many touches he gets per night.


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