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Thunder coach hopes Andrew Bynum keeps shooting three-pointers

March 29, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Lakers Center Andrew Bynum was benched by Coach Mike Brown on Sunday night for attempting a three-point shot.
Lakers Center Andrew Bynum was benched by Coach Mike Brown on Sunday night… (Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty…)

Despite getting pulled for it, Lakers center Andrew Bynum has professed that he'll continue to shoot three-pointers whenever he wants.

It might cause Lakers Coach Mike Brown to bench him again, even if it's when the Lakers host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday at Staples Center. But Bynum has at least one supporter pulling for him to become a perimeter shooter. The only problem is that this person has ulterior motives.

Said Oklahoma City Coach Scott Brooks: "Hopefully Bynum continues to have that outside shot that he has and we don't have to guard him down low."

Bynum's failed three-point attempt early in the third quarter of the Lakers' 104-101 victory Tuesday prompted Brown to bench him for most of the second half. He then played in only the first 2:50 of the fourth quarter before Brown sat Bynum again after missing two jumpers, a free throw and lacking effort both on defense and rebounding. Brown said he's repeatedly emphasized the need for Bynum to increase his effort on rebounding after failing to crack double digits in that department in the past five games.

Still, Bynum has averaged a career-best 22.3 points per game on 63.5% shooting through 15 games in March. Meanwhile, Pau Gasol has averaged 15.7 rebounds in the last three games. Brooks hopes the physical presence of Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka will prove enough to counter that production.

"They're going to have to be big," Brooks said. "Our bigs are going to have to play with some toughness [Thursday night]. Bynum and Gasol are pretty good down low. They're one of the best tandems scoring down in the paint."

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