There is still no official word on Andrew Bynum’s ankle. The Laker world breathlessly awaits news on that front. Mike Brown has stated that he doesn’t believe the injury to be of the serious variety. But last I checked he’s a coach and not a physician. We’ll wait for the experts to weigh in before making any definitive judgments.
One area of expertise Brown can flex his muscle in is the hoops world. Since he’s the head shot caller in Lakerland Brown will be the man to decide on yet another rotation of players suitable to replace what Bynum brings to the table.
It will not be possible for the Lakers to find one-to-one replacements for all of Andrew’s assets.
It is already being speculated that Troy Murphy will step in as the new starter should Bynum be out for any upcoming contests. Last night against an undersized Warriors team Murphy and Josh McRoberts combined for 19 rebounds off the bench. That might have been abnormal but it is a reasonable assumption to think the two can manage to meet Bynum’s 12 boards a contest between the two of them.
As for the scoring and defending, that is where the task of replacing Bynum becomes very difficult.
McRoberts is the better defender of L.A.’s new two-headed monster at center. Of course that isn’t saying much. Thanks to his athletic ability McRoberts does add the element of being able to protect the rim but also brings the issue of foul trouble to the table.
One man that should be in the mix in newly acquired Jordan Hill. His game is predicated on defending and rebounding. But he too is dealing with injury issues.
Where the presence of Murphy and McRoberts in expanded roles becomes a benefit for the Lakers is more closely tied to Ramon Sessions.
With Sessions getting into the lane guys like Murphy can make a living camping out behind the arc. As for McRoberts, he’ll be a real weapon in the open court where Sessions can toss some lobs his way for easy points at the rim.
Replacing all that Andrew does is difficult but not impossible. As it stands the Lakers have become accustomed to getting three players a night into double figures. That will remain the same with Sessions picking up some of the slack in Bynum’s absence. He won’t be getting the cheap buckets Drew can in the paint but Ramon has been highly efficient in his brief Laker tenure.
Whenever an All-Star talent is lost it takes the entire team to step up in order to fill the void. Perhaps Bynum’s absence during a crucial point in the season will provide a real moment of growth for the Lakers. Or it could be the incident that finally tears this season apart. We’ll just have to wait and see.