Bynum has to find self-controlFor Lakers to be successful during playoffs, Bynum must control himself
Published 4/10/2012Comments (0)
Andrew Bynum does not have much time left in the season to meet his ejections quota.
After getting tossed from the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets Friday night, it seems Bynum concerns himself with getting ejected equally as much as helping his team win.
Only eight games remain on the Lakers’ regular season schedule. Six of those games are against teams with winning records.
Bynum will need to harness his emotion and learn to play maturely for the Lakers to have any hope of winning the NBA Finals this year. If Bynum’s antics continue, his team could lose the majority of its upcoming games and miss the playoffs altogether.
In fact, the Lakers lost 112-107 to the Rockets on Friday. If that sounds familiar, it is. On March 20, Bynum got ejected and Los Angeles lost 107-104 to the same Rockets, according to CBSSports.com.
Do not forget that Bynum began this season serving a four-game suspension for a flagrant foul against J.J. Barea in their playoff matchup against the Dallas Mavericks last year. The team went 2-2 during those four games, according to NBA.com.
The Lakers need Bynum’s presence near the basket. He plays aggressively and can record double-digit points and rebounds on a nightly basis.
“It would be good to have him on the floor and help us win games,” teammate Pau Gasol said on CBSSports.com. “He’s just got to find a way to make sure he can help the team any way he can. And to do that, he has to stay in the game.”
Lakers forward Metta World Peace, a known behavior problem himself, had a different view of Bynum’s ejection, which happened because of Bynum’s trash talk toward the Rockets’ bench following his negative reaction to a foul by Samuel Dalembert.
“You talk trash, that’s the essence of basketball right there,” World Peace said on CBSSports.com. “You score, you talk trash. That’s fun. You got a bunch of street-ball players in the NBA.”
The NBA is not a street-ball league, though. Rules exist in the league to prevent such behavior. World Peace and Bynum can play street ball and talk trash all they want, but on their own time.
Trash talk tends to accompany any form of competition. However, players should not take it to a level that causes an ejection.
“You don’t want him to lose that edge or lose the rage that he’s playing with, but you want him to find a good balance with it so it doesn’t take him over the top,” Kobe Bryant said of his teammate Bynum on ESPN.com.
Bynum should also hold his trash talk until the Lakers actually win the game. Getting fired up after a game and having a win to back up one’s emotion makes a lot more sense.
If he cannot contain his emotion, he needs to redirect it. Use the adrenaline rush to back down defenders and score with authority. If all else fails, the referees always present themselves as inviting targets.
Officials make at least one horrible call in every game. Those bad calls warrant arguments from players. Fans often appreciate players who say what everyone watching the game wants to tell the officials after one of those calls.
Even Bryant, who said Bynum needs to find an emotional balance, disputes calls flamboyantly with officials. This means one can argue with an official in a way that shows emotion but does not cause an ejection.
Players often show their passion for the game when they make officials realize their mistake. It is priceless. Trash talk is pointless, especially because its derogatory nature often results in an ejection.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs await the Lakers in a difficult final stretch of the season. Bynum must avoid ejections during that span and in the playoffs.
Without him, the Lakers will struggle to earn a playoff seed in the tight Western Conference. With him, their dream of winning the NBA Finals remains plausible.