Alvin Gentry on Bynum + Gasol

It’s a frequent occurrence to hear NBA coaches discuss how difficult L.A.’s seven-foot tandem of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum make things on the inside when their respective teams draw the Lakers, and Suns head man Alvin Gentry was no exception in advance of Tuesday evening’s contest.

“I think Bynum is probably playing as well as any center in the league right now, when you look at the rebounding, shot blocking and scoring,” he said. “When he’s healthy and playing at this level, it’s a really, really tough matchup.”

Gentry made the comment after acknowledging that his own center, Marcin Gortat (the “Polish Hammer”) has been terrific since coming over in a trade with Orlando last season, agreeing with (this) reporter’s assessment that Gortat is already among the league’s top 10 pivots. Gentry also offered some unsolicited praise of Gasol’s game, relating his comment back to the Spaniard’s partnership with Bynum.

“Everyone knows about Pau … the guy is probably as skill as any big guy that plays the game,” he said. “His footwork is great, he’s a real smart player. When you’re dealing with those two guys down there, rebounding becomes such an issue, and when those two guys by themselves are getting 30 rebounds, it puts a lot of pressure on your front court.”

For the young season, Bynum is averaging 18.8 points, 15.7 rebounds and 1.67 blocks in six games, while Gasol checks in at 16.7 points, 9.3 boards, 2.3 assists and 1.8 blocks in 10 games.