After missing all of last season with various knee injuries, nobody was counting on Andrew Bynum ever playing in an NBA game this year. Fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers have heard positive reports about Bynum's health throughout the preseason, but everybody was rightfully skeptical.
The consensus reaction to reports about Bynum's progress seemed to be "I'll believe it when he suits up and plays in an NBA game." Well, that's exactly what he did on Wednesday night in the Cavs' season opener against the Brooklyn Nets. His status was kept a secret until just about an hour before the game when coach Mike Brown announced that Bynum would be active, indicating that he would probably make an appearance in the game.
Bynum's debut was brief, but incredibly encouraging. He looked mobile and healthy. It didn't look like he was having trouble moving or jumping or blocking shots. He's still an absolute giant and the Cavs looked like a totally different team when he's out there. In his 7 minutes, Bynum grabbed 3 rebounds, scored 3 points and blocked 2 shots. Of course, the biggest key is how he feels the day after. The Cavs will continue to be extremely cautious and bring him along slowly. If he can handle everything that they give him without any setbacks, it stands to reason that Bynum will eventually work his way up to playing 25ish minutes per game. That would add an entirely new dimension to this Cavs team.
Here's the highlights from Bynum in the Cavaliers' win against the Nets.