Bynum, World Peace step up for Lakers

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
11:27
AM ET
By Ernest Tolden, ESPN Stats & Information
ESPN.com

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrew Bynum has really picked up his game in Kobe Bryant's absence.
With a 112-108 overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers moved to a season-high 17 games over .500 (39-22) and improved to 4-1 this season without the league’s leading scorer, Kobe Bryant.

Tonight, the Lakers will look to build on that momentum against the San Antonio Spurs (10:30 ET).

Instead of taking a step back lately, the Lakers have shown they can both win without their superstar and thrive offensively. In the last five games, the Lakers are averaging more points and shooting more efficiently compared to when Bryant has been in the lineup this season.

Much of the Lakers’ success without Bryant has been due to the supporting cast stepping up, most notably Andrew Bynum and Metta World Peace.

Andrew Bynum
In his first 51 games this season, Bynum averaged a double-double, posting career highs in points (18.3) and rebounds (11.8). But in the last five games without Bryant, he has really stepped up his game at both ends of the floor and has taken an increasing role in the offense. He is averaging four more points per game, five more rebounds per game and nine more shot attempts per game without Bryant.

One of the areas where Bynum has been the most aggressive is in the post. Over the last five games, he has almost doubled his field goal attempts on post-up plays per game compared to when Bryant was in the lineup and has increased his scoring in those situations.

Metta World Peace
World Peace has also found a rhythm in Bryant’s absence. In the last five games, World Peace is averaging 17 points on 52 percent shooting. Prior to this stretch, World Peace averaged just 6.5 points. No other player on the Lakers has increased his scoring more since Bryant has been out of the lineup than World Peace.

Where World Peace has improved the most is his jump shooting. In his first 55 games, World Peace shot just 29 percent from 10 feet and beyond. However, he has been on fire from the outside in the last five games, shooting over 47 percent from that distance.

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