Writing about the ups and downs of Will Bynum fandom for The Classical

PistonPowered readers have long been subjected to my (some would say irrational) love of Will Bynum. I think some share my enthusiasm while others tend to fixate on Bynum’s flaws, but he has undoubtedly been one of my favorite Pistons for a variety of reasons during some years in which — let’s face it — this team has been no joy to watch. I had the opportunity to extol some of those Bynum traits that I find so virtuous over at The Classical:

None of this is to say that Bynum is now, any more than he ever was, a starter in this league. He’s clearly not. His best moments are spectacular. Along with highlight reel dunks, his frenetic scoring and pace-pushing ability have regularly helped the Pistons overcome significant deficits late in games that appeared to be over, including this season against the Atlanta Hawks. But his failures are often just as spectacular. At his worst, he’s a turnover machine incapable of playing at anything but breakneck speed, an appalling defensive player and a lousy shooter. He makes an impact, certainly, but what kind of impact is never quite clear. That he has outplayed his fellow members of Detroit’s backcourt isn’t as much a case for Bynum as it is a reflection of Detroit’s personnel decisions in recent years. And yet.

And yet Bynum has still, by dint of his stature and style and pound-found pedigree, been sold somewhat short. Stuckey and Knight are both former first-round picks; both, physically, look like elite guards, and have the upside a rebuilding team would seek. It makes some sense that the Pistons would bank on young players like these rather than limited veterans who overachieve like Bynum. But the fact remains that Bynum has, for the most part, outplayed both general expectations and his actual peers in Detroit’s backcourt.


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