Bynum Shoots Off Ahead of Roma

"In good teams, good players get to play," says under-fire Maccabi TA guard.

Maccabi Tel Aviv's Will Bynum has had enough. The guard may have hit 20 points including five triples Sunday night against Ashkelon, but he has come under fire this season from the press and from his team.

Like his critics, he knows that what really matters at Maccabi is the Euroleague, where the team lost its opening Top 16 game at home to Tau Vitoria last week, a game Bynum ended with 0 points in 18 minutes on the court.

"I have nothing to prove to anyone, but I do need more time on the court," Bynum said yesterday as the team prepared for Thursday's Top 16 match day 2 game at Lotomattica Roma.

"In good teams, good players get to play. In my case that isn't happening and I have no idea what the reason is."

Maccabi will be meeting a Rome team that is also in crisis. With the biggest budget in the Italian league, Jasmin Repesa's outfit is fifth in the domestic standings with a 9-7 record and lost 78-74 to Udinese on Sunday.

Maccabi believes that Roma is vulnerable, especially as it will be without forward Dejan Bodiroga.

Maccabi coach Neven Spahija put his emphasis on defensive rebound in yesterday's practice, but Bynum feels Maccabi's problems lie elsewhere.

"I hope that the players who deserve to play get to play in Rome and that we come back with a win. Roma isn't Ashkelon, but it isn't the Cleveland Cavaliers either."

Bynum still seems convinced that he is one of the leading players at Maccabi.

"That's the way it was in every team I have played and that's the way it is here," he said.

"You can ask all the players and coaches. I'm sure they know my real ability. Maybe some players [at Maccabi] have lost their confidence, but mine has never been affected.

"I'm not pressured by the importance of a game or by the number of fans in the stands; I have already played in front of 50,000 fans."