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Andrew Bynum looked good in his Pacers debut. Now can he do it again?

Mar 12, 2014, 10:52 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers Getty Images

Andrew Bynum looked good against the Celtics Tuesday. It was simple and clear. When basketball coaches say “you can’t teach height” Bynum showed exactly what they mean — matched up on Jared Sullinger and Brandon Bass, Bynum just grabbed rebounds and made shots right over the top of them. He was too big, too physical.

Bynum shot 3-of-4 for 8 points and had 10 rebounds, showed some nifty passing out of the post, played solid defense and generally he looked like what the Pacers hoped they were getting. He was part of the reason the Pacers snapped a four-game losing streak 94-83 against an overmatched Celtics team.

The question for those anyone who has watched Bynum before is this: Can he keep it up?

Bynum has had great games before (including in Cleveland earlier this season, before they traded him), good stretches while he is focused, only to revert to his disinterested form.

He told the Indy Star he felt good in his 15 minutes spaced out over four quarters.

“I felt great. Couldn’t do anything wrong today,” the 7-foot, 285-pound strongman said.… “All the rebounds came my way and I just grabbed them.

“Looking forward to the next game.”

The Pacers still plan to go slow with Bynum, as they should.

Bynum was forced into action with Ian Mahinmi out with a bruised left hip. Bynum showed a skill level and a brute physicality that Mahinmi cannot match, he showed why when healthy and focused he is an upgrade for them in the paint behind Roy Hibbert.

Pacers fans should be hopeful, this is certainly more than Philadelphia got out of Bynum. And Bynum will be motivated — he is a guy more driven by money than many and he is playing for his next contract. Yes, playing on a winning team matters to him as well, but he took mental vacations when Phil Jackson was his coach, too.

In the end that’s really the question — what Bynum will the Pacers get night to night? One good game against an undersized front line is one good game. He needs to do it repeatedly, then into the playoffs. He’s capable, and if he does it the Pacers just got better.

  1. cruzan80 - Mar 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    “One good game against an undersized line.”

    Like the front line of the Miami Heat…..which is why he was brought there…four good games in the playoffs….thats it.

    • nickjackalson - Mar 13, 2014 at 5:31 AM

      I´m looking forward to the backup-center wars between Bynum and Oden

  2. reesesteel23 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    Of all the people in the league, if it doesn’t work out with Indiana, he doesn’t deserve another chance. point. blank. period. Guy gets to so what he wants and gets rewarded for it.

  3. metalhead65 - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    it is simple if he wants af at new contract he will pay play his best and do everything he can to help the Pacers win. last night was a good first step in that he played and played well.

  4. granadafan - Mar 12, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    This is what’s so frustrating about Bynum. He has all the talent in the world, but is made of glass. Even worse, he seems to be missing a heart. He plays hard for a while, but then just dogs it the rest of the time.

  5. chris3141084 - Mar 12, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Hibbert is a good/great defensive player much better than Perkins but along the same lines it’s almost 4 on 5 when he’s out there, Bynum is the missing piece for what they need offensively, at least this year.

    • bougin89 - Mar 12, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Hibbert is far from a dominant offensive player but he is way better than Perkins on offense. Way better. That says more about Perkins than it does about Hibbert.

  6. phillycannon - Mar 12, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Still bringing up philly, and this is Bynum’s 3rd team since then. who approves this writing. Talk about why didnt Bynum elaborate more about his debut. Nope you got…… “uhhhh the rebounds came my way so i grabbed them”! Really genius!!!!

  7. 00maltliquor - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    “YES…I CAAAN!”- Sherman Klump

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