NBA Roundtable

A.Bynum Ready and Rearing To Go

In General NBA on December 4, 2011 at 10:02 am

Interesting news from Kevin Ding and the OC Register

Bynum remade his body with trainer Freddie Roach, who is in three Boxing Halls of Fame and now teaches champions Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan – and maybe more importantly, Roach’s strength and conditioning specialist Alex Ariza.

Often twice a day over five months, six days a week, Bynum took this one healthy offseason that his always-failing knees finally gave him, and he bent them forward to put his nose to the grindstone. Howard can have the “Superman” theme; Bynum will take the “Rocky” music.

He lost 10 pounds to take a load off his knees while losing more body fat than Kevin Durant even carries. He strengthened his core and the muscles all around his knees, so critical for him to improve his base and make powerful moves when so weak in those knees. He ditched all the insecurities over sub-par conditioning and poor lateral movement that led him to rush things and get out of sync with his team.

He focused on developing quicker moves (drop steps, spin moves, one-dribble jump hooks, even the Dream Shake) and locked in on free throws, too.

You could even say the results have closed the biggest gaps between Bynum and Howard, because the feet are definitely lighter and the hands are far quicker now. This was Bynum’s plan – although he upgraded in trainers from Roger Mayweather to Roach – long before he revealed himself in the season finale as someone who would take a shot at a guy a foot smaller.

That’s a fair context for this, too, because the feeling now is this: Bynum, 24, has a never-before-felt comfort level with his big body

Even after the weight loss, he still has 10-plus pounds on Howard. Bynum tops 7-foot-1 in shoes, whereas Howard is barely more than 6-10 in shoes. Bynum is two years younger. In skills and touch, Bynum has always had the distinct advantage.

A bit of a fluff piece there … hard to tell how much truth is in it.

But it’ll be something interesting to keep an eye on early in the season. It looked like Bynum lost a huge deal of his explosiveness last year after all those injuries. I am very interested to see if he can get any of that back. And/or if he can improve his fluidity of movement and overall mobility (especially for pick and roll defense).

If A.Bynum can have a big start to the season, it could hugely enhance the Lakers trade prospects. Or, if kept and he stays healthy, their title prospects.

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