Until his recent ankle injury Andrew Bynum has proven thus far this season that he can get through an NBA schedule without a major setback. However it’s been the occasional appearances of Baby Bynum that have now replaced the injury concerns surrounding Drew’s career.
Andrew’s ill-timed ejection in Houston followed by his remarkably poor shot selection in Oakland was what we the fans saw. Yesterday word spread that the Lakers had privately fined Bynum for various other off-court antics.
Now all of these issues relate to the long-term logistics of building around Bynum. Right here and now there is no question he makes the Lakers a much better team and his presence is very necessary against the rival L.A. Clippers and their athletic frontline.
Last night the Lakers got a W without Drew’s services. Yes, it came against the lowly New Jersey Nets. Yes, they did blow another big lead only to have Kobe Bryant bail them out. No, having Bynum more than likely wouldn’t have assured that game wouldn’t have been close. All that being said there is no doubt Drew’s presence alone can turn the tide of a contest.
Against the Clippers Bynum has been extremely important. Despite all the hype surrounding Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, neither is capable of containing Bynum in the post. In addition all the love of Lob Angeles gets lost in the fact that the Lakers have scored more points on lob plays than their cross-court rivals. Many of those buckets being scored by Bynum.
From here out almost every game will have a playoff feel for the Lakers as there are nothing but Western Conference foes on the schedule. The seeding in the West is still very much up in the air and for all we know the Lakers and Clippers could end up meeting in the first round.