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Vogel: Andrew Bynum to play for Indiana Pacers Tuesday night

Mar 11, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers Getty Images

The Andrew Bynum era is about to begin in Indiana.

It’s really a subset of the Paul George/Roy Hibbert/David West era. And because it’s Bynum this era could be incredibly short. We’ve seen it before.

While Bynum himself had said he planned to return Friday — in Philadelphia, where he will be poorly received after his non-playing stint there —Pacers coach Frank Vogel up that timeline at shootaround Tuesday.

Pacers backup center Ian Mahinmi is sidelined with a bruised rib, so Bynum is forced into action a little earlier than expected. He will get backup center minutes (or at least some of them).

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Bynum will try to help the Pacers stop a four game skid, one caused by the fact they have gotten away from their defensive identity. In their last five games the Pacers have allowed 111.6 points per 100 possessions, 16 points higher than their season average.

When healthy and focused Bynum is an upgrade over Mahinmi — even in his stint in Cleveland Bynum scored at twice the pace of Mahinmi (15.1 points per 36 minutes for Bynum compared to 7.2 for Mahinmi). Also, Bynum can be a good defensive rim protector when engaged.

Ultimately Mahinmi and Bynum are polar opposites — Mahinmi has limited skill but is known for constant hustle and effort, Bynum has a lot of skill and ability but his effort is questioned as is his desire to play through knee pain. The Cleveland Cavaliers took a flier on Bynum at the start of the season and midway through decided what he brought was not worth $6 million for the second half of the season and shipped him out.

Bynum was a good gamble for Indiana, a $1 million risk that could pay off with a decent backup big man. If not, well, at least he doesn’t join the Heat.

Tonight we see the start of the Bynum era in Indiana, and we start to see if it can last.

  1. velocirep - Mar 11, 2014 at 12:28 PM


  2. campcouch - Mar 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Era. lol

  3. dakotaandotter - Mar 11, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    the guy hasn’t played in a couple of months. why did it take him this long to be able to play?

    • dablakdrphil - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      completely out of shape, and Coach Vogel wanted to make sure he got into shape 1st then see how his knee responds to practice before putting him out there in real live game action. It was a smart move by Coach Vogel and management. I think Bynum will be engaged because he’s trying to play for a contract next season so he pretty much has no choice to play hard if he wants another contract this upcoming off season

      • phillycannon - Mar 11, 2014 at 4:53 PM

        trying to play for a contract next season????? Man please! This dude hasnt played over 20 lately and this will be his 4th team in a year. A nba team will give him a contract regardless if he plays or not. See Sixers, Cleveland, Chicago(cut i know), and now the Pacers.

      • dablakdrphil - Mar 11, 2014 at 6:42 PM

        I’m from LA and know exactly how Bynum is, Lord knows I watched enough of his antics when he was a Laker, my whole point is Bynum now has a reputation for being a lazy player and not being motivated…if he pulls these kinds of antics with the Pacers NO ONE will sign him because he’s not worth the headache so yes he basically needs to hoop to get a contract next year, it doesn’t matter if he has size or skills, if you’re a headache no team will put up with you

      • dablakdrphil - Mar 11, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        And if you want to be technical

        Philly traded for Bynum and he never suited up, Philly didn’t just flat out sign him as if he was a Free Agent so I don’t count that

        Bulls LOL, good try, we all know Bynum was NEVER in the bulls plans for the future

        Cleveland-yes they offered him a contract and then cut him before he was owed the second half of his contract because they weren’t sold on him but look at Cleveland in general… that franchise is a joke so who knows if it was Bynum or just management so your points are invalid to a certain degree Mr. PhillyCannon

  4. tampajoey - Mar 11, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Oh, I’m sure he’ll be a model citizen for a few weeks… then BAM! Back to being Bynum.
    Can’t wait to watch the next Bynum train wreck.

    (I just hope Indiana can hold it together long enough to knock Miami out of the playoffs)

  5. antistratfordian - Mar 11, 2014 at 2:59 PM


  6. redbaronx - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    @Kurt Helin – I wouldn’t judge Bynum as an upgrade on Mahinmi due to scoring for several reasons:

    1) Scoring isn’t always a good measure of what you bring to the team. Especially if your defense is lacking.
    2) While Bynum can be a decent defender, it’s either when he’s feeling well or chooses to put in the effort.
    3) You have to wonder whether Bynum is a team chemistry issue for the Pacers. In the three years or so that this group has been together, they’ve never had a defensive lapse like this. The Pacers may yet end up regretting this signing.

    I seriously question whether Bynum has more value to the Pacers than Mahinmi at this point in Bynum’s career. Bynum still hasn’t convinced me that he’s doing anything more than collecting paychecks, and that in itself can demoralize a team.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 11, 2014 at 5:31 PM

      Work on reading comprehension. I said Bynum is an upgrade when focused, and there is no doubt that peak Bynum is far superior. Also, you can’t blame this recent collapse on Bynum as he has not even played. Really, it’s not even Evan Turner’s fault, but at least he is on the court and his shooting has defenders playing off him and daring him.

      • redbaronx - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:09 PM

        @Kurt Helin – My reading comprehension is fine. Just like you said about MWP when this season began “IF”. If, would, should, could. Smart GM’s don’t rely on IF. Sure IF Bynum were focused and in the shape he was five years ago there would be no argument. But we’re not dealing in fantasies here.

  7. chitownmatt - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    “…when engaged.”
    Nicely said.

  8. velocirep - Mar 11, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    lol. Comprendez? That was hilarious.

    Yes. Bynum at his peak is worth a max contract and championship contention. Mahinmi- not so much.
    The point is, anyone who watches basketball knows that Bynum is nowhere near, nor will ever be near his peak for 3 main reasons:

    1. Maturity
    2. Health
    3. The owner’s impulsive over-spending on any big with a hint of superior talent, regardless of warning signs and flags. Giving him no reason to change.

    So to even imply his potential could be reached almost feels like you’re insulting your readers intelligence.
    The absolute best that can come out of this pickup (other than Bynum having an emancipation) is solid minutes of backup time, similar to what Mahinmi brings. The worst? Well we’ve seen pretty bad from him already, but he is capable of disrupting an amazing chemistry and throwing a big wrench in the pacers run to dethrone the heat, on top of the knees and foolishness.

  9. campcouch - Mar 12, 2014 at 1:40 AM

    The dude is so lame that the only photo they have is him two teams ago lol

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