Does Bynum make the Lakers a contender?

Your Ad Here

Andrew Bynum and Kobe BryantThe Los Angeles Lakers’ season started with Andrew Bynum serving a four game suspension for the shot he took to Jose Barea in the closing minutes of Game 4 of the Western Conference Semi Finals. During that time, the Lakers split the four games but the real story is how Bynum looked in his first game back against the Denver Nuggets. In that game Bynum scored a game high 29 points on 13 for 18 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds. Suddenly it seemed the Lakers went from looking like a lottery contender to looking like a relevant team again.

Andrew Bynum’s presence in the post is the reason this Lakers’ team has a chance at being a legitimate contender… this year. The question remains as to whether or not Bynum alone makes the Lakers a contender? 10 games into the 66 game season, the question seems to be a bit premature. However, this is why they play seasons. Although the season is reduced, 66 is still a big number and this season will still be a grind. The fact that the Lakers are still getting used to Mike Brown’s straight forward-defense first style of basketball, the shortened season should be ample time to get a feel for each other and build chemistry. What’s a great way to build chemistry? Wining basketball games.

Your Ad Here

Since Bynum rejoined the team, he has consistently put up double – double numbers in all but one game. In that stretch, Bynum put up his first ever 20-20 game. As long as Bynum continues at this level, and most importantly stays healthy, the Lakers should win a lot of basketball games this season. Not to mention they still have the greatest closer in the game in Kobe Bryant. It’s just a matter of this Laker team gelling and coming together as a team the way Laker fans are used to seeing their team compete.

One person who was glad to see Bynum return was Pau Gasol. Not to knock on Pau Gasol, but he’s no dominant center. He may be able to play center, but let’s face it, when Laker teams won championships in the past, a dominant center was a main part of the formula. Let’s rephrase that, when dynasties won multiple championships, a dominant center was part of the formula. One and done teams like the Mavericks aren’t in this discussion. So back to Pau Gasol. What Pau Gasol is, is an integral part of what Mike Brown is trying to accomplish. Pau is a 7 foot finesse player who is more comfortable playing when Bynum is down deep in the post taking the punishment. Fans of the Lakers and basketball fans alike know what Pau can do when he is comfortable. Bynum gives him that comfort by attracting double teams in the post.

What Bynum also brings is size to the Lakers front line. He, along with the aforementioned Pau Gasol, is also a 7 footer to bring a twin tower type presence to the team. Let’s not forget that it was the Lakers’ overwhelming size that won back to back championships in 2009 and 2010. Not to mention the most powerful center the Lakers ever had in Shaq. Is Bynum and Kobe a new version of Shaq and Kobe? Shaq was in a class of his own and Kobe was in the prime of his career-so the answer to that question is obviously no. However, it doesn’t take away from Andrew Bynum making a significant difference to the Lakers. What he brings is size, depth, and consistent double figures scoring and on the boards. So back to the question at hand; does Bynum make the Lakers a contender? The answer is obvious. Put two 7 footers down in the post along with the cold-blooded Kobe Bryant at the top, and the prevalent answer everyone would say is yes. However, like it was said before, talking doesn’t win basketball games, they’re won on the hardwood.

Terrance Shumake is an NBA writer for The Sports Blitz.


Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *