Will Andrew Bynum Surpass Dwight Howard? | TR on ESPN

If the LA Lakers want to have any shot at coming back from a 2-0 deficit to knock off the Oklahoma City Thunder, they’ll need Andrew Bynum to step up and carry the load.

Bynum has developed into one of the game’s top young centers, but does his performance stack up to the truly elite NBA big men? And if not, will he ever get there? Austin Link reads the tea leaves and tells us what he sees in the young Laker center’s future.

Here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite; the full article can be found at ESPN Insider.

The Bynum versus Dwight Howard debate has been waged throughout the season, but let’s put that one to rest. Bynum’s moves in the post are prettier and his offense is slightly more efficient, as measured by offensive rating, but that’s where his advantages over Howard end. Howard is an outstanding rebounder, one of the greatest defensive players of all time, and carries a surprisingly large load for the Magic’s offense. […] On balance, he’s the best center in the NBA. […]

But again, Bynum isn’t done. […]

While he’s good already, there is still a lot of room for one of the league’s most inconsistent players to improve. The question is, will he improve? Plenty of players over the years have fallen short of their potential. A good way to judge what could happen is to look at the career trajectories of similar players. To gauge Bynum’s future prospects, I looked at the 10 centers since the league merger who were first team all-NBA […]