INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Vogel is as eager as anyone to see whether Andrew Bynum can make a difference for the Indiana Pacers.
After sitting out more than two months, the former All-Star center is expected to make his debut with his new team Tuesday night against Boston.
“I’m looking for him to fit in and play his game and play to his strengths,” Vogel said before the game. “He’s pretty up to speed on the offensive and defensive schemes.”
Bynum has been an enigma for most of the last two seasons.
He missed the 2012-13 season with Philadelphia because of knee injuries, and then signed with Cleveland as a free agent. The 7-foot, 285-pound Bynum averaged 8.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 24 games with the Cavaliers, but he was suspended indefinitely in December. He was eventually traded to the Bulls and subsequently released, making him a free agent.
Indiana signed him Feb. 1, and he started working out with his new teammates Feb. 7.
But until now, he has not been ready to suit up.
With the Pacers (46-17) mired in a season-worst, four-game losing streak, backup center Ian Mahinmi out with a bruised left rib and backup point guard C.J. Watson out with a sprained right elbow, Vogel and Larry Bird decided to give Bynum a shot.
Vogel said he plans to use Bynum for about 10 to 15 minutes against the Celtics (22-41).
“His conditioning is pretty good,” Vogel said. “He’s not ready to play 40 minutes a game. But we’re excited to see him play with our guys.”
The 28-year-old Bynum has career averages of 16.2 points and 10.8 rebounds.