ESPN: Ten games into the regular season, I appeared as a guest on Colin Cowherd’s radio show. At the time, Andrew Bynum was averaging just over 20 points per game, along with 11 rebounds. Colin asked me, what, if anything, could slow him down.
“Pau Gasol,” I joked, “when he comes back, Andrew might have to share.”
I was kidding, but it’s not a joke any more. When Gasol returned, Bynum went backwards. After picking up eight double-doubles in the first 11 games, Bynum has none since. It’s almost as if Bynum has been deferring to Gasol, and is willing to take a back seat. Kobe Bryant explains it another way.
“There’s a pecking order,” Kobe says. “I eat first, and Pau eats second. Everybody else can eat what’s left.”
But on Sunday, Gasol strained his left hamstring, and will be out indefinitely. That opens the door for Bynum to move up in that pecking order.
Bynum is fully aware of all of this. When he was asked how his role changes when Gasol is out, he didn’t hesitate.
“I’m going to be more featured on the block cause we’re going to need good post up that provides penetration, for the offense,” Bynum said. “On defense, I’m going to have to get my boards and really, really, work on loading, because with two 7-footers in there it’s a little bit better than one.”