Dwight Howard, Lakers’ Andrew Bynum ‘just different,’ Phil Jackson says
Lakers center Andrew Bynum has a nice repertoire of offensive moves.
He has a smooth, still developing offensive game.
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard is a more physical, low-post offensive player.
His game is about dunking.
On the surface, it appears as if Bynum has a more advanced offensive game than Howard, who is generally considered the best center in the NBA.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, however, doesn’t put much stock in that theory.
“It’s a difference in just their physical makeup,” said Jackson, who gave his team Saturday off. “I think ‘Drew has great hands, great shooting touch, [but] doesn’t have that strength and quickness that Howard has, that physical makeup.”
Bynum and Howard test their skills against each other when the Lakers host the Magic at Staples Center on Monday.
It’ll be the first time the two teams will have played against each other since the Lakers defeated the Magic in the NBA Finals in five games.
Bynum is 7 feet, 285 pounds and has started to develop his body.
Howard is a muscled 6-11, 265-pound physical wonder who is very athletic.
Bynum has a nice jump shot up to 15 feet, and he has learned to use both of his hands. He runs the court, has gotten better in the low post and has become adept at spinning off his defender to catch lob passes for dunks.
Howard has a nice little running hook from the left and right sides and dunks with power. He also runs the court.
Still, Howard averages 16.8 points per game, the sixth-best scorer among centers. Bynum averages 15.8 points, seventh-best among centers.
Howard leads all centers and the NBA in rebounds at 13.1 a game; Bynum is 13th at 8.4. Howard leads all centers and the NBA in blocked shots at 2.48; Bynum is 11th at 1.63 per game.
Howard has 28 double-doubles to lead all centers and is tied for the league lead. Bynum has 12 for 11th-best.
“They use their particular characteristics to their advantage to play basketball right now,” Jackson said. “They are just different.
“I think that Andrew felt he didn’t get a good shake in the playoffs last year,” Jackson said. “He was in foul trouble a lot in the early parts of the game.
“Reacting to that speed and quickness and strength that Howard has, I thought he was a little bit late and it put him in jeopardy as the course of the game went on. I think he’ll look forward to that [game Monday].”
Fisher stands tall
In the eyes of Jackson, Derek Fisher had the biggest impact during Friday night’s game against the Clippers.
And it was not just Fisher’s statistics, which were modest, yet important.
Fisher had just four points and played just 19 minutes. But Fisher collected a career-high eight rebounds, which also led the team, and he had a team-high six assists.
What impressed Jackson the most about Fisher was the way he stood up for his teammates against Clippers guard Baron Davis.
Davis was trapped by Fisher and Pau Gasol in front of the Lakers’ bench when he began throwing elbows.
Davis connected with an elbow to Gasol’s shoulder.
Fisher quickly got into the face of Davis, both of them barking, both getting a technical foul.
“The game ball went to Fish, actually, to be honest with you,” Jackson said. “He had eight rebounds and led us in rebounding and a career high . . .
“The little brouhaha he had with Davis, I thought that was what we had to have. Rather than let Davis muscle our guards around, I thought we needed someone to stand up to him.”
The three-pointer Josh Powell made at the end of the first half against the Clippers shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Powell worked all summer on his three-point shooting, encouraged to do so by Kobe Bryant.
For the season, Powell, a 6-9 power forward, has made six of 14 (42.9%) of his three-pointers.
“I was particularly pleased that Josh Powell at the end of the first half had made a three,” Jackson said. “People kind of wonder why he’s out there. He is a legitimate three-point shooter and we know that. He can end quarters or halves in a way that he is an advantage.”
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