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Lakers’ Bynum: “We’ve got trust issues right now”

May 5, 2011, 3:28 AM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers - Game One Getty Images

The Lakers certainly aren’t playing like a championship team.

They’re not sounding like one, either.

“It’s obvious we have trust issues, and unless we come out and discuss them then nothing is going to change,” center Andrew Bynum said after the game.

Trust issues with what?

“Individually. Between all 13 of us we’ve got trust issues right now.”

Maybe the entire team needs to go see Ron Artest‘s psychologist.

How do these issues manifest themselves?

“I mean I think it’s quite obvious to anybody watching the game,” Bynum said. “Hesitation on passes, defensively not being there for you teammate because he wasn’t there for you before. Stuff like that.”

Bynum later was asked if these issues were personal or basketball issues. He said both

Allow me to translate:

Give me the damn ball.

Bynum had 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting (plus 13 rebounds). Let late in the game the Lakers kept feeding ice-cold Pau Gasol or just having guys shoot jumpers while Bynum had his man pinned deep (Kobe Bryant did that to him a couple times, among others).

On defense, Gasol and Lamar Odom struggled to defend the J.J. Barea and Dirk Nowitzki pick-and-roll, and the result was Barea racing in at Bynum who slid over to defend the paint, but nobody helped the helper and Barea either scored or hit an open man for a better shot. He carved the Lakers up like a Christmas turkey.

It’s pretty rare to hear a player call out his teammates with trust issues. That may well not go over in the locker room. Kobe seemed more concerned with bigger issues after the game (like being down 2-0 and having to head to Dallas).

“I think the trust that he’s referring to is being able to help each other on the defensive end of the floor,” Bryant said. “You saw a lot of layups. He gets frustrated with he supports a guard coming off the screen and roll and nobody supports him when he’s a big rolling to the basket.”

The Lakers are a team with a lot of issues right now. Trust is just one of them.

  1. budrow - May 5, 2011 at 5:54 AM

    I’m not a Laker fan but I do understand how awesome the team and players are. I love Andrew Bynum, he speaketh the truth. Give him the damn ball! I love it!

  2. hnirobert3 - May 5, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    Kobe’s hyper competitive, “I’ve got to get to Michael’s 6 rings” frame of mind will be the death of his career.

  3. kyleortonsarm - May 5, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    I trust the Lakers. I trust them to choke.

    • Dan M. - May 5, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      This is basically the first time in 2 years they’ve shown any weakness in the playoffs, and over that period of time they’ve had by far the best record winning on the road. So I’m not sure where that trust comes from.

  4. omniusprime - May 5, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Bynum is right to say the Lakers have trust issues as there’s too much Hero Ball going on which just ends up as Zero Ball. Late in the game the Lakers have to keep running the team offense to keep the whole team involved, Kobe has to learn to trust his teammates more late in the game. Not enough ball and player movement, when they move around and move the ball they score easily. Plus it’s a matter of the Lakers hitting 3 pointers and free throws, that really killed them last night. They’re missing wide open shots and need to just focus on scoring more efficiently. I’d like to see more passes to Bynum in the paint since Bynum is the most efficient scorer. Gasol has to step up his game, no excuse just because he’s playing against Dirk.

  5. zrbk - May 5, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    I’m a Celtics fan, and I’ve always disliked Irk Nowitzki. This series originally meant nothing to me. However, Dallas has really impressed me during the past two games. Chandler+Haywood+Nowitzki did a great job standing up against Laker’s frontline, and their excution is nothing like the weak Mavericks from previous playoffs. Whether Bynum’s words are true or not, the Lakers must find a way to solve the problem soon. It’s challenging to win a series after losing two at home, but the Mav’s has done it before — and maybe the Lakers can do it this time. Let’s wait and see.

  6. euclid34 - May 5, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    Boston vs LA in Finals.

  7. fouldwimmerlaik - May 5, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Bynum is just speaking the truth. But, Kobe and Phil know how to heal any issues. This is nothing but apart of everything Phil and Kobe have foreseen. Do not worry, my dear Andrew, all is as it should be!!!

    • downtowndanny - May 5, 2011 at 3:12 PM

      when are you due back on the funny farm?

  8. passerby23 - May 5, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Everybody’s got an excuse when a defending champion is struggling, e.g. they’re just not into it, the previous runs have tired them out, they have “trust issues,” they’re not running the triangle offense, etc. As I see it, it’s a matchup problem. They still have no answer for Dirk, they still have trouble containing penetrating point guards like Barea, the size of the Mavs stands up well against the Lakers, and the Mavs have the depth to compete with them.

    Make no mistake, the Lakers are playing tentatively, but if Dallas continues playing the way they’re playing, they are the better team. Sometimes even a great team runs into a bad matchup.

  9. denverhoopdreams - May 5, 2011 at 2:47 PM

    This reminds me a lot of when some guy with the last name Smith came along talking about the Nuggets, but he got a lot more drama surrounding him than Bynum has so far.

    • downtowndanny - May 5, 2011 at 3:14 PM

      the smith you refer to, who I like to call LIL Tupac, is a basketcase. totally different situation.

  10. LPad - May 5, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    The Lakers need to seriously consider make Pau their third option on offense. Then if Pau plays to his capabilities its a bonus. Right now, his performance as the second option is killing the team (which is his fault, no one else’s). He’s taking bad shots that lead to runouts and empty possessions in the fourth. Taking bad fouls because he’s not in position on defense, which lead to easy points at the free throw line for Dallas. Go to Bynum as the second option and if Pau’s not playing well put Odom in the game in the fourth.

  11. LPad - May 5, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    I get confused when people write things like this: “just having guys shoot jumpers while Bynum had his man pinned deep (Kobe Bryant did that to him a couple times, among others”

    Mainly, because if I was a Laker coach, fan, etc. I would be more concerned about the “others” missing Bynum more than Kobe. There’s absolutely no reason why role players should not be getting the ball to the second best player on the team when he’s open. Especially considering that Bynum often plays with the second unit.

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