Why? When he was at his best we didn't win anything and he was hit or miss when we needed him. Don't miss him one bit. Plus his knees are shot
I always felt that had to do with his role being increased directly before the playoffs, when he was the 3rd option behind Pau they actually worked quite well and shared the post pretty well.
The thing Phil did wrong was give priority to Bynum fully, mainly because he saw Pau starting to decline, it still worked till the 2nd round where we lost to the better team we SHOULD have beaten but as Phil has discussed, telling them about what he was going through may have been a bit much, could have had a lot to do with why they burned out so early, that "effort" should have been saved for the playoffs.
Anyway, then when Mike Brown came in he, instead of Pau and Bynum sharing the post, ran 4 out 1 in where Pau was mainly a power forward. This was disasterous, not because he was playing Pau out of position(which is the usual excuse) but because Pau's jumper was no longer as reliable, nor did he have the legs to keep up with 4s anymore, Pau's knees have been a problem for the past 2 years and playing the 4 exhausts that.
The two times Bynum and Pau worked were under two circumstances, one was when they shared the post equally and Pau got seniority(which is why Bynum started developing a mid range jump shot), the other time was when they ran high low with each other which was an unstoppable combination.
The sad thing is they were a better fit than was Pau and Dwight strictly because Dwight refused to run high low with Pau. Bynum and Pau did this often, even running pick and roll with each other, when they had that down they were deadly.
People seem to forget how much of a terror Bynum and Pau looked like before Bynum's second knee injury, they also forget that Bynum played 30 mins a game against OKC in that first round on one leg till his knee could take no more and Phil had to reduce his minutes.
We didn't look any less devastating with him and Pau both on the court at the same time and OKC learned that the hard way before Bynum had to have his minutes cut down.
So the notion that we somehow wouldn't have been successful when Bynum was getting minutes is pretty untrue, we'd have won the championship that year still. Bynum had reduced minutes and we still beat the Celtics with him playing on one leg and struggling through it. Had that been Bynum at full strength with the chemistry Pau and Bynum showed prior to the knee injury that series doesn't go seven.
Our three-peat attempt comes down to two things.
One was giving Bynum post priority over Pau and diminishing Pau's role and waiting for the playoffs to do it because of the way we finished the season(I think we lost 5 straight or something like that after that 17-1 run and we LOOKED like a burnt out team) , and two, all our bad habits catching up to us.
Then of course the next coach we had wanted to run 4 out 1 in, and Bynum was an all-star but the thing is Gasol can't keep up with 4s anymore, nor chase people down on pick and rolls when Bynum either would, or would not commit to shutting them down, so that was a problem from the start. So when your 4 and 5 defensively are at that kind of wits end, you either get a shut down paint(when Bynum hosted a block party against Dwight and the Magic or against the Nuggets in the first game where he actually decided to guard against the pick and roll) or you either got a wide open paint like you saw a lot of the time.
The second thing it comes down to this
Bynum's defensive habits disappeared with the departure of one person from our coaching staff.
Kurt Rambis. Our defensive assistant who not only finally convinced Phil to implement some zone into our defensive strategies but was also responsible for working with our BIG MEN and their defensive tendencies.
Kurt Rambis left after our two-peat and defensively we weren't the same team and our bad habits piled up like no tomorrow, ESPECIALLY in our big men, Bynum who had once hedged on pick and rolls effectively or at least attempted to stop point guards on drives, developed those lazy tendencies and all that he'd shown in his first two years on the defensive end all but disappeared except in spots.
Rambis's departure I always felt was tied to that at least to an extent and ultimately it hurt our team in the long run cause without a proper defensive assistant we came a cropper once "talent" was no longer enough.
We went from a team that could gut it out against the Celtics when our star had a bad night because of our defense, to a team that fell for the same play against Dallas over and over and over and over again till we got swept.
Ron Artest's declining health and nerve damage as well as Kobe being on one leg was a bad part of it too, but as a TEAM we weren't defending well, with or without them being healthy and that was a major difference I noticed from us when I compared how we played the year prior.
Just my two cents really but I always felt the departure of Rambis had something to do with why the bigman defense took such a flop and our team defense took an atrocious backwards step and it seemed like we played on talent alone that three-peat attempt year.
Edited by Majesty, August 03, 2013 - 11:10 AM.