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Andrew Bynum named Western Conference player of the week

March 19, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Lakers center Andrew Bynum was named the NBA's Western Conference player of the week for the second time in his six-year NBA career.
Lakers center Andrew Bynum was named the NBA's Western Conference… (Chris Graythen / Getty Images…)

The more Andrew Bynum accomplishes, the more he remains unsatisfied.

He won the Western Conference Player of the Week award Monday for the second time in his six-year NBA career, capping off a week where he averaged 26 points on 61.4% shooting and 14.6 rebounds in the past five games. Yet, Bynum hardly marveled at his 33 points on an efficient 12-of-14 clip in the Lakers' 103-99 loss Sunday to the Utah Jazz.

A few reporters suggested he could've gotten more points had Kobe Bryant passed up his poor shooting night (three-of-20) for more looks in the post. Yet, Bynum harped on his own aggressiveness.

"What we didn't do was stay in our system offensively," Bynum said. "Pau [Gasol] and myself, one of us has to be down on the court and the other has to be trailing every time. That dictates where we're going to go with the basketball. Today we lollygagged up and down the court a little bit."

The Lakers committed 24 turnovers, and plenty deserved blame for all the miscues. Instead, Bynum took the heat himself.

"I was falling down all over the place," Bynum said regarding his five turnovers. "I fell on my face a couple of times."

Bynum again reflected on his offensive production in the past four games this week where he's led the Western Conference in rebounding (14.8), finished second in scoring (27.5) and ranked fourth in shooting percentage (66.5%). But then he saw that as reminder on what he's lacked on defense. Despite the Jazz missing forward Al Jefferson (attending grandmother's funeral), Utah still scored 52 points in the paint. That frontline production largely contributed to the Lakers conceding at least 100 points in five of the last seven games.

"For me, the offense is coming along fine," Bynum said. "But being the defensive captain, it's been an up and down year. I'm going to get better at it."

That mindset exactly explains why Bynum's having a breakout season. He remains goal oriented.

Bynum set out on making the All-Star team. He's done that. Bynum increasing his aggressiveness. He quickly learned how to pass out and repost against double teams. Bynum enhanced his base. He took boxing lessons this offseason to improve his agility. Bynum actually added post-ups, fakes and a decent mid-range jumper to add to his game.

Bynum has wanted to stay healthy all season. He's done that. Bynum has worn the protective brace around his surgically repaired right knee. He received a Synvisc injection during the All-Star break to add more lubricant around the joints. Bynum seeks constant pre-game and post-game treatment to ensure the knee doesn't worsen.

Bynum has wanted to mature. He's done that. Bynum doesn't remain fixated on getting touches. He worries about staying aggressive. Bynum doesn't address his teammates weaknesses. He addresses his own. Bynum hardly worried about trade rumors. He constantly mentioned it's not a big deal if the Lakers trade him because he'll make money playing basketball anymore.

Yet, the more Bynum accomplishes, the higher the ceiling Bynum has to grow. And that's the way he wants it to be.


Lakers' turnovers largely contribute to loss to Utah

Kobe Bryant has no explanation for poor shooting night

Five things to take from Lakers' 103-99 loss to Utah Jazz

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