Cavs react to Bynum suspension prior to game vs. Celtics

Cavs react to Bynum suspension prior to game vs. Celtics
December 28, 2013, 1:30 pm
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BOSTON - The Cavs are seven feet short of their usual team Saturday in Boston.

The team announced Saturday morning that they have suspended center Andrew Bynum indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team.

The press release reads: "Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum has been suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today. Bynum did not travel with the team to Boston last night for the team’s game this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. vs. the Celtics and has been excused from all team activities indefinitely. His status will be updated as appropriate."

If you were looking for an update from Cavs head coach Mike Brown, keep looking.

Brown understandably wouldn't say much on the situation, repeatedly telling reporters that the suspension was indefinite.

"It's indefinite. I'm not trying to be funny, but everybody knows what indefinite means," Brown said.

A report from Yahoo! says that Bynum has lost his love for the game, and his lack of interest is partially behind the suspension.

That's news to Brown.

"I don't know. I have never heard that before," Brown said when asked about the report by CSNNE.com. "That's something that you'd have to catch up with him and ask."

I do not have plans to catch up with Bynum anytime soon. And you have to wonder if anybody on the team does either, seeing as he's banned from team activities.

I did "catch up" with a couple of Bynum's (former) teammates, Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving, before the game.

It's hard for Waiters to explain what's going on with Bynum. But he certainly appeared to have Bynum's back.

"For a guy who missed two years not playing, probably just stopped loving the game for a while because the same thing kept happening," Waiters said. "But you never know what's going through somebody's mind. Only that person knows."

And somehow, some way, Waiters made a comparison of Bynum to Michael Jordan. Consider it the only possible comparison between the two.

"He probably fell in love with something else . . . Michael Jordan did the same thing," Waiters said of Bynum. "Stopped loving basketball and started playing baseball. That didn't work, started loving basketball again. So who knows. You just never know."

Waiters insisted that he wasn't mad at Bynum, instead saying that the team needs to be there for him. Irving, on the other hand, didn't say either way, saying that it was a management decision.

Irving did say, however, that it was a "terrible situation internally with our team", and admitted that that the Cavs need Bynum out on the floor.

They may never have him again. The same Yahoo! report says the team will try to trade Bynum. On Saturday, Anderson Varejao  got the start at center. But according to Brad Stevens, that may not be such a bad thing.

"I think Bynum is a really good player. I think when I've watched them, they've been better on the court in a lot of cases," Stevens said. "Doesn't mean that they haven't been good with him on the court in a lot of cases, and it's certainly nothing against him. But what it does is it impacts their defense in a way where they're a little bit more aggressive with a guy like Varejao. In our game I thought Varejao was one of the better bigs that played.

"Obviously for his sake and for their sake I hope that in the long term they get him back. But a lot of times in this case and in a case like this, teams play really well coming off of something like this. So we're going to have to to be really good today. So I don't think that impacts them in any way that would be considered a negative from their standpoint."

On the year, Bynum is averaging 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 20.0 minutes per game. Varejao is averaging 7.9 points, 8,8 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 28.7 minutes per game.

Stevens was later asked about his feelings on Varejao.

"I love Varejao. I love Varejo," he said. "I think he's a consummate pro. He plays hard. You know what you're getting every single night. I think he's a guy that's been there and done that that a lot of young players can learn from. He's not historically an All-Star or he's not in the discussion when people talk about the best of the best of the best, but if they had a ranking for most consistent, I bet you they would. I understand and can see why he's such a highly valued member of their organization."

He just got a lot more valuable now that Bynum is out of the picture. Maybe that's the change the Cavs need to turn the corner and take advantage of a weak Eastern Conference.