A slacker somewhere once said "if you set your expectations really low, you'll never be disappointed." It is a fine lesson for those who want to traipse through life with a silly "Kenneth the page" grin on their faces. But there is an actual lesson in there for the rest of us.
If you set your expectations way too high and it does not pan out, then whose fault is it, really? So when Dorrell Wright says..
[Andrew Bynum is] going to need two defenders to stop him; I would say he's the best big man in the NBA right now, hands down. He's a guy that can give you baskets with his back to the basket; a guy who makes free throws at 7-feet. You've just got to respect him.
… I get the feeling there are going to be some games where Wright second guesses himself.
Philly is one hell of a wild card team this year. I have spoken to some very smart basketball people and they have all given me varying assessments of the Sixers. Some have them winning the Atlantic. Some have them scuffling into the playoffs as a lower seed.
And Bynum is the absolute key to it all.
Here is the thing about Bynum, and why he is not yet as good as Dwight Howard: While they are both wildly immature, Dwight Howard has been pretty consistent on the court. For all the folly in Orlando, Howard still puts forth the effort on the court on a nightly basis whereas Bynum…
Dwight Howard has never said:
I was out there kind of loafing around and having a good time
Andrew Bynum did. And that is what Andrew Bynum does. He goofs around on the court (like the debacle over firing up a 3-pointer) way too much for most people's standards. And the biggest problem with all this is that he does not see a problem with it.
More so than the numbers… which are not better than Howard's, there is the attitude. The cocky, man-child attitude that he brings to the table that rears its head at inopportune times. And now the guy that goofs around during some games and loses his cool in others has gone from third option to first option.
Bynum is the man now in Philadelphia. And whenever I am discussing him and the Sixers with someone, my go-to question to them is "do you really trust Andrew Bynum to be the No. 1 option?"
It is usually met with a pause. It is never met with "absolutely."
I could argue that Dwight Howard is a better defender, more athletic, and able to do things out there, especially on the defensive end, that Bynum and his oft-injured knees are not capable of. And I acknowledge that when Bynum faces someone like Howard, he raises his game to a level that is actually rather titillating to fans of old-school, "let 'em bang down low" basketball.
But none of that even matters because before the shoes are laced up… before the lights flick on in the arena… before Bynum's alarm clock even goes off in the morning… the thoughts inside his head make him less of a player than Dwight Howard.
His physical ability to play the sport is great. His mental ability to handle what comes with it is not. And sometime this season, in a private moment with a friend, a family member, or just mumbling to himself in his kitchen with a Bloody Mary, Dorrell Wright is going to look back on this statement and think he might have overstated things just a little bit.