Andrew Bynum Out for Eight Weeks!
Just when everything seemed to be going to Lakers way, they lose their young phenom Andrew Bynum for eight weeks with a dislocated knee cap. Bynum is currently averaging a double-double, with over 13 points and 10 boards per night, and leads the league in field goal percentage at 63.6%.
Bynum's absence will undoubtedly impact the hot play of the Lakers. He brings a lot of energy to the floor and cleans up a lot of missed shots. His presence down low helps spread the floor and opens things up for Kobe. At least we have the All Star break coming soon, which will chew up a little under a week without any games being played. Moreover, we're in the NBA doldrums of January and February.
Things were going so well for the Lakers this year, their first really positive year since 2004. The first time since then that there's really been all around team play, instead of the ol' standby of "Get Kobe the ball and get out of the way." Hopefully Bynum's absence doesn't move Kobe into a me-first mentality. While it's jaw-dropping to watch Kobe score 81 like he did last year, it's not what this team needs. They need to keep running fast paced ball, they need to keep getting everyone involved, and they need to keep wracking up the W's and securing a playoff position where they won't have to start off the postseason facing San Antonio or Phoenix.
And if Bynum's injury wasn't bad enough news, the Lakers have a difficult stretch coming up: Phoenix and Denver at home, then San Antonio and Dallas on the road, followed by Cleveland at home.