Starting 5: Bynum benched, Wild Wild West & the Serge Protector does it again

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Every morning, we’ll give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.

1:  Bynum benched… and this could get interesting. 

You don’t need me to type much on this.  Here’s the set up.  Andrew Bynum took a 3 pointer and was benched last night.  Here’s the video:


   And now the words:

“I don’t know what was bench-worthy about the shot, to be honest with you,” said Bynum, who finished with 11 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes. “I made one last [game] and wanted to make another one. I swear that’s it. I guess [coach Mike Brown] took offense to it and he put me on the bench.”

And

“If I feel like I have to take him out the game again, I’ll take him out the game,” Brown told Yahoo! Sports. “If I don’t feel like he’s playing the right way, I’ll take him out the game. I didn’t feel like he was playing the right way. I didn’t feel like we were playing the right way as a club when he was on the floor. That’s why I took him out the game.

And

“I guess don’t take 3’s is the message. But I’m going to take some more,” Bynum said. “I just hope it’s not the same result. I hope that I make it.”

It would be somehow appropriate in this weird season if the Lakers season was derailed because their potentially great 7-foot center suddenly decided he wanted to take 3′s.  Lakers fans can take solace in the fact that they won last night, but this is one to keep an eye on.  Kobe needs to sit the kid down and talk some sense into him. 

2:  Wild Wild West

The Western Conference playoff picture won’t be settled until the season is over… and even then it might take a few mathematicians to calculate some archaic tie-breakers. 

Last night, the Dallas Mavericks looked like they were going to fall to the Houston Rockets, despite Houston’s laundry list of injuries.  Jason Terry helped the Mavs pull ahead after being down by as many as 16, and Dallas won the game to hold on to the 5th seed… just percentage points behind the Clippers in 4th.  With Memphis and San Antonio winning, Minnesota and Phoenix slipped in the standing and are now getting perilously close to the “getting too far out to make a run.  

To give you an idea of how close this is, Denver is a half game from slipping out of the 8th seed, but also just two games from taking the fourth seed.  

Buckle up. 

3:  HIGHLIGHTS!!!

Rudy Gay gets to the rim

Goran Dragic with the great no-look pass

Serge Ibaka doing what he does… block shots… even when that shot is about to be a fast-break dunk

4:  Line of the night:  Monta Ellis – 33 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal

There were a lot of big performances in the league last night, but Monta stood out because he shot a spectacular 15-24 and he dished out 8 assists as well.  Plus, Milwaukee needed this big win over Atlanta to stay within striking distance of the New York Knicks (now two games back) as they deal with a bad case of the injury bug.  

5:  You can quote me on that

”I felt comfortable. I’m finally getting to the point where I’m getting my second wind.  I can finally count on my body, which in this game is what it’s all about. All you can do is take it game by game and not get too excited.”
     -Lamar Odom, on his improved play 

”I don’t think anyone in the building expected Jodie to go for 31.  But he played great tonight, didn’t he? Darned near broke the game open himself. But I tell you what. We’ll take that every night the rest of the way.”
     - Sixers GM Rod Thorn, on Jodie Meeks’ 31 points game 

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