Pacers Notes: Bynum, Bird, George

February 2 at 8:40am CST By Eddie Scarito

The Pacers didn’t need Andrew Bynum, and this may be the reason why the signing will work out, writes Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders.com. After failed stints with the Sixers and the Cavaliers, the Pacers might be just what Bynum needs to get his career back on track. The team has the best record in the league without Bynum having logged a minute, so there isn’t pressure for him to come in and produce right away. There are also a number of quality veterans in the Pacers locker room who can lead by example and help Bynum adjust to his new team. Ingram also notes that Bynum should be aware that this is his last chance to prove that he can be an effective player and contribute to a winning team.

More on the Bynum signing:

  • Larry Bird disputes the notion that Bynum will be a disruption on the team’s culture and locker room, writes Candace Buckner of IndyStar.com. “We’ve got protection for Roy Hibbert and Ian Mahinmi and we’ll see how it works out,” Bird said. “I think it’s a great upside for us, we don’t do anything that we don’t think is going to help us and I think this is going to help us.” Bynum has agreed to a $1MM deal for the rest of the season, and will return to Indianapolis early next week but will not be ready to play for at least several weeks. Bynum played in 24 games for the Cavs this season, averaging 8.4 PPG and 5.3 RPG. Also, Bird refuted earlier reports that the Pacers were merely interested in Bynum to keep him away from Eastern Conference rival Miami.
  • Also in Buckner’s article, some of the Pacers players weighed in on the signing. Paul George said it’s a big gamble on the team’s behalf, and noted that, “He’ll have to prove a lot to himself, whether he wants to play or not. If he comes in ready to go, ready to put in the work, really buying into our program, we have no problem being there for him.” Ian Mahinmi is the player who stands to be most affected by Bynum’s minutes. He stated, “My only concern is for the team. Whatever makes us better as long as we keep winning and we keep taking steps toward the championship, I’m fine with that.” Not all the players were willing to discuss the new addition. Both David West and George Hill refused to discuss Bynum, and directed any questions towards Bird or coach Frank Vogel.
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