Do we think of him any differently this morning? Sure, it was one game. Sure, it was the Nuggets. And sure, some of the blocks didn't really look like blocks. But by tying the postseason record for blocks in a single game, did Andrew Bynum improve his defensive reputation? An NBA player's profile rests mostly on his play in the postseason, where seemingly small achievements can radiate out and define careers. This, of course, has very little to do with reality, but because the public doesn't see a player as too much more than a list of reference points, a feat like blocking 10 shots in a game can take on bigger, arguably undeserved dimensions. The answer to the question, "Can Andrew Bynum play defense?," will now always reference the triple-double against the Nuggets. It's the latest update in a weird season that has seen Bynum develop into an All-Star-caliber player while having his character called into question. Before yesterday's triple-double, if you asked most hoop fans to rattle off the first three phrases that came to their minds when they heard the name "Andrew Bynum," the top answers would be: Kobe, Lakers, improving, Giant Tracy Morgan, and head case.
Here is a timeline of Andrew Bynum's mishaps, starting at the end of last season, when he bashed J.J. Barea with his forearm and got thrown out of Phil Jackson's last game as a coach.