Does Huge Bynum Give Lakers Big Three?


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HANG TIME HQ, TEXAS – News flash for Andrew Bynum: four and a half years after the infamous video taken at a Newport Beach mall, Kobe Bryant believes you’ve got the right stuff to help him run down that sixth NBA championship that would pull him even with Michael Jordan.

After falling out of the starting gate with back-to-back losses, the Lakers have won six out of their last eight going into tonight’s game against the Suns. Bryant told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports! that he’s feeling good about many things: The right wrist that is holding up despite torn ligaments, the attitude and philosophy of new coach Mike Brown and especially the play of his front court teammates Bynum and Pau Gasol.

Bryant loves that Brown’s pushing people within the organization, that he’s pushing Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, and, yes, that he’s pushing Bryant, too. The Lakers are still struggling to find themselves, but Brown is transforming them on the fly, fortifying them defensively and moving far away from the triangle offense. For everything that’s changed, Bryant still believes the core of a championship contender is here.

“We have our own Big Three,” Bryant said. “Andrew. Pau. And myself. Those are three bona fide All-Stars.

And you’d put that against anyone else’s three?

“Yes, I would.”

This promises to be a grueling sprint of a season where no one wants to hear about tired legs and injured players. Bryant’s always made it harder for Lakers teammates to sit out with injuries, because they know he’s plays through everything. For Gasol and Bynum, this has never been more important. “Mike’s pushed us hard, especially our bigs,” Bryant said of Brown. “He demands a lot from Pau. … But you’re seeing, Andrew has an incredible drive, an ambition to be great. And we need to encourage him in that.”

That’s a far cry from the way Bryant used to view the young big man in the middle of the L.A. lineup. But since starting the season late following his four-game suspension, Bynum has come a long way from the player who showed only flashes of his ability in the past. In his first half-dozen games this season, Bynum is averaging 18.8 points and 15.7 rebounds per game while shooting 53.6 percent. What he’s brought to the early part of this season has been consistency. He has only one game when he didn’t score in double figures and has hit double digits in rebounds every time out.

Of course, it all hangs by the threads that are those torn ligaments that require Bryant to get injections before games and to do everything he can to keep it loosen and avoid further injury. The wrist did not stop Bryant from earning Western Conference Player of the Week honors. Nor did the grueling opening schedule that had the creaky Lakers – average age 31 with a starting backcourt of Bryant (33) and Derek Fisher (37) – playing 10 times in the first 15 days.

All in all, it’s not fatigue that should be of concern to the Lakers as much as a bench that looks like a footstool this season, according to Ben Bolch of the L.A. Times, especially now that Matt Barnes has moved into the starting lineup.

The lack of rest hasn’t irked Bryant, who has hoisted a league-high 23 shots per game despite a torn ligament in his right wrist, as much as questions about his stamina.

“Do I look tired?” he asked with a steely-eyed glance toward a reporter who had inquired about fatigue.

Of course, exhaustion is only one of the Lakers’ worries. They have a bench that has combined for a measly 24.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game — totals that have declined since sixth man extraordinaire Lamar Odom departed for the Dallas Mavericks.

Reserve shooting guard Shannon Brown is also gone, having moved on to Phoenix, but the Lakers still have Metta World Peace, for better or worse. The small forward’s minutes have dipped along with his production this month, when he has averaged 3.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in 17.8 minutes a game.

While the Lakers haven’t yet won a road game and will get their mettle tested next week when they go back-to-back at Miami and Orlando, for now, at least, the solution to saving the season no longer seems to rely on swinging that trade for Dwight Howard.

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51 Comments

  1. Play Yard says:

    Having read this I believed it was rather informative. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  2. Dave Lob says:

    Laker fan always. But in reality we still need a few critical pieces and one of them is not Dwight Howard. What we need is some youthful perimeter play. With the triangle gone Blake has emerged as a legitimate three point shooter but we still have nobody on the perimeter who can create shots off the dribble beside Kobe. Our front line is fine with Bynum and Gasol with Murphy and McRoberts coming off the bench. Hopefully we can pick up someone who can give us a scoring boost so Kobe doesn’t have to carry such a heavy burden.

  3. leocas says:

    the lakers should find ways to get a defensive player specialist to become champion.

  4. alfonso says:

    En España Paau Gasol es uno de los deportistas más querido y aqdmirado, tanto por sus compañeros como por sus compatriotas. Espero en el que mirarse. No blasona de nada de lo conseguido hasta ahora ( Campeón del mundo, campeón de Europa ( dos veces creo) dos anillos de la NBA consecutivos y finalista en su primera llegada a Los Angeles, finalista olímpico ( contra USA) en Pekín 2008. Ni Kobe Bryant , con lo que admiro, tiene este palmarés.
    Actualmente está asimilando la falta de respeto que ha tenido de parte de los directores de su franquicia. Le sobra inteligencia, y tiene aún edad y condiciones y sólo falta recuperarlo anímicamente, para acompañar a Bryant y Bynun a ganar un tercer campeonato. No hay en toda la NBA un jugador de sus características y creo que no estoy descubriendo América. Mucho Pau.

  5. EDC says:

    I am a big Lakers fan, but honestly i agree this is not a championship team. Bynum can step up??? COuld he? Odom is gone, Metta World Peace can’t shoot no more, Fisher can’t add any points. All work now is done by Kobe, and Pau to me is day-dreaming when he plays…… have to add some players with heart like Dwight for sure…..and a young point guard, well at least a PG that can add points…..

  6. 24allday says:

    kobe is a better player than lebron..he’s just relying in his power,,,his physically gifted,but what else?kobe’s not that gifted but he’s worked hard for it….better footwork, godlike work-ethic…no excuses,just what p player’s supposed to be

  7. EDC says:

    LA BIG 3…i more believe in Griffin, Paul and Billups…….unless Lakers can get AI and D12

  8. Lakers24 says:

    Lakers are a championship team! Think about it, before last years failure, they won the title 2 TIMES IN A ROW! This team can definetly win it all this year! They can own the thunder with their defense, and they can stop the mavs now that they suck. The balzers won’t be a problem in staples center, and the clippers? Who ever heard of the clippers. The lakers are going to destroy them also. Then finally when the LAKERS team wins it all, all these critics will shut up!!

  9. willie says:

    I do agree to some of the comments that lakers really need a playmaker a guard who can see the movements of the game and also,who can be a defensive player not necessarily a three point player but a guard who can also score consistently if necessary.In short if we fail to get Chris Paul look at other option..lakers can still get a legitimate playmaker guard they still have some pieces to trade off.

  10. Jonathan says:

    It’s great several of you are mentioning the Lakers’ glaring need at point guard, but can soneone throw out some names of guys they have a legitimate shot at getting. No wish lists or pipe dreams please, thanks.

  11. Laker fan still worried says:

    As a laker fan I am still worried about Bynum’s health, if he goes down the lakers will not win a championship! Despite him playing so well I would still trade him for dwight. Lakers also do not have a starter pg, I know Steve Blake playing well not he cannot guard the strong pgs like Westbrook, Rose etc.

    Metta world peace is not a outside thread at all and that is a big problem. Trade Peace, Luke for Devin Harris-he can play the pg and back up sg. Also the lakers need Ray Allen- he is a true outside threat.
    Imagine kobe at pg and Ray at sg combo

  12. doni says:

    lakers people these are good fits for our team this will get us out of the hole and for us to make a run at the title this year

    please mitch make a move for point guard, here are several options jose calderon – raptors; kyle lowry Rockets he puts great numbers. Also has a low ratio in turnovers. jj barea kill us last year he’s a great point guard, also luke ridnour; make a trade and sent ebanks, metta, along with blake and rookie point guard morris and put walton there for one of those guys which are playmakers, please get rid of walton he’s a waste of money. try to get trevor ariza back with landry send a package deal for those particular players, so that we can complement the core of the big 3 bryant, gasol, bynum. oh yeah try to get scorer that can make his own plays like martin, drogic for metta, blake, morris, ebanks, mcroberts. or at least give a chance to gilbert arenas kmon he’s worth it could solve issues at pg spot,

  13. Miami Heat 2012 champions says:

    Lebron Travels? well i might say that as for last year’s run.

    Kobe will be done on due time as he ages.

    The new big three will dominate the game in the next 4-5 years. Miami Heat is on baby

  14. B-Ball Fan says:

    The Lakers are still a good team but at the moment I wouldn’t make them a Championship Contender, we still need to see how they handle other Contenders although I was surprised they weren’t blown out by Chicago, their defense has actually been downright shocking. But their offense, guard play(Point-Guard), and Bench all need work in my opinion. McRoberts has been a pretty good pick up but they need more on their bench I’m still regretting Ariza’s departure (even with the repeat championship) because he was a great athletic player, I’m really missing Odom and Vujacic , even Farmar, and of course Shanon Brown. Let’s face it, we won’t be getting any of them back, but if the Lakers can just get two guys who can contribute 10+ points a night off the bench and a young guard (He doesnt even have to be an all-star) I feel they’ll be a contender. And please someone tell Pau it’s okay to get 20+ a game, It’s fine Pau, we love you.

  15. oras says:

    i think the lakers should trade metta for t-mac even add walton in dat mix the lakers will regret it when t-mac is back healthy and metta is missin every shot he puts up

    • B-Ball Fan says:

      I’m not very familiar with the trade regulations revolving salary cap but I’m pretty sure Ron’s making more than T-Mac so no one will want to pick up his big contract (and little contribution) trust me, I think L.A. would love to have the cap space back.

  16. fans says:

    GET RID OF RON ARTEST, TROY MURPHY, DAVID E BANKS!!!!!! AND MITCH KUPCHAK

  17. kobe says:

    This is not a championship team. They need to make a move sooner than later. Not necessarily Dwight Howard, but a PG is a must!

  18. fans says:

    whytroymurphy.com

  19. fans says:

    all vids in nba.com are stuttering!!!

  20. papajohn003 says:

    I still believe that what is needed in LA is a point guard who feeds kobe and pau in order to make them produce points. Fisher is old and Blake is more shooter than a playmaker. A playmaker is what I think LA must seek in this times.

  21. LAL says:

    I’m a HUGE laker fan and all, but lets face the facts guys, the lakers just don’t have a beast team right now.
    Obviosuly Kobe is not in his prime, but he is definitely living up to his potential (wrist problems and still playing pretty decent) As for the Big 3 thing, yeah we do have a good combination. Bynum, Pau, and Kobe in their best games are a
    deadly three comparable to the heat’s or any other three in their prime time. Hopefully we start seeing them work at full force, however we can’t blame bynum for his knee or kobe for his wrist. We do need to get pau a little more involved though. Not to leave out all the other players. I don’t have anything against any players at all, though it would be dreadful if they didn’t show any talent for the amount of prestige this team has won over the years. In fact, any of the upcoming teams: Chicago, Miami, and Oklahoma City…etc. will admit that. Even the Celtics will admit that. Some really good players left these last few years and many others are declining in their careers. If we can find good players and even if we get that Dwight Howard deal, I think we might have a chance… next year… It will take the team a while to get used to Mike Brown instead of Phil Jackson, it will take kobe and bynum a while to get over their injuries, and it will take a while for everyone to get that surge of dedication and talent that bynum has portrayed. By the way, any conversations that strike out about the “2nd Jordan”, just don’t mention it. There will never be one. The one and only Jordan is the only one there will be. Each player has their own great potential

  22. SYDALE says:

    Don’t fall for it Orlando… LOL

  23. jenn says:

    Almost all teams have problems playing LeBron…lol

  24. Jonathan says:

    PLEASE give me break the Lakers’ roster in its current state is not championship ready. Why in the world do you think they tried so hard to bring in a Chris Paul? Expect the Lakers to make a move because while it won’t guarantee a championship it will give them a better chance to do so. Not to mention at this stage in Kobe’s career he needs another TRUE legitimate star next to him and sorry folks Bynum ain’t it. At least not right now.. (If he can stay healthy he’s got a shot.)If you got a shot at getting DHoward you make the deal..period.

  25. Ryan says:

    Lakers won’t win it this year. As a Laker fan and as much as I want them too, they have a few pieces to fit in before they do. First off, we need a GOOD point guard. Gilbert would be a great addition, but not for a point guard, he would better fit being the back up for kobe. we need a point guard of lowry’s caliber, not great but reliable. to be honest, id rather have t-mac than artest nowadays, t-mac is starting to show more life than previous years, i think he could be a great addition to provide scoring off the bench. besides his contracts are cheap as well. like i mean if you can have lowry and blake at the pg position, kobe and arenas at the sg spot, t-mac and barnes at the 3. with gasol and mcroberst at 4 and character n bynum at 5? pretty solid team. of course toss ebanks in there, since hes showing promising signs of replacing the long lost ariza lakers miss on their wing. we dont need another big name to come in, we just need to get rid of the players that are not helping, artest, fisher and walton, if we can get quality players from them lakers will do just fine.

  26. maleman says:

    They should still have to chase Dwight Howard..! and have some better young point guard..! like chris paul…! Dwight Howard is way better than bynum athletically.defensively and durably. Bynum’s brittle knees hasn’t been tested yet..! Howard runs faster than bynum! Howard have no history of injuries! so he is way better than bynum even economically..! you can’t erase Howard’s back to back defensive player of the year also!

    • Vijay says:

      To be honest and this will come as a shock, if Bynum develops the disposition that Shaq had, in terms of finishing with strength around the basket and that there is no one his equal within 10 feet of the Basket, I actually prefer Bynum. Howard is faster and more athletic but no where near as polished offensively. Howard is still pretty raw offensively. Howard is more intimidating defensively but not particularly superior. If it is possible for us to add a Mo Williams to our roster, I won’t mind keeping Bynum.

  27. Scott says:

    Bynum is bigger than Dwight, but Bynum has always had injury problems. Dwight, not so much.

    The Lakers season depends on Bynum’s and Kobe’s health. If either go down, its over.

  28. Wait a Minute says:

    Everyone’s gotta have a “BIG 3″ these days. Play as a team.

    • B-Ball Fan says:

      I agree with you completely I feel as if the NBA is losing its competitive nature due to these mega teams. It’s making me like teams like Denver a whole lot more for there lack of huge names I mean yes these guys are talented but they’re not ‘Supers’ as you would call them. Everyone loses for a few years then says ‘Forget this, I’m want a trade, send me to play with ‘this guy’ and you guys trade for ‘that guy’. Hey guys how about you ‘Get Better’ now I’m not saying be the only guy on your team that can do anything but we have the term ‘role players’ for a reason, you take your star (Who should be damn good) and you place him in a line-up along with a ‘playmaking-guard’, a ‘pick-and-pop’ shooter (preferrably a 3-point shooter), a forward with ‘above average basketball knowledge’ (who can rebound), a ‘defensive stopper’, and a decent Center. You don’t need three all-stars people, you need one good guy and to surround him with four complimenting pieces (and a decent bench) any player worth his mettle would be able to cope with that. But things have changed, now everyone has to have three great players on their team. Maybe its understandable if your old (Yeah Kobe, I’ll forgive you for getting Pau since you’re 30.) But Anthony, Wade, Bosh, and LeBron…I dunno guys…I won’t call out A’mare since he was there first, and honestly the Knicks may have even been better now without Anthony but that’s another story. But I’m just starting to miss the good ol’ days where you meshed as a team, where you had your go to guy who had all the answers and how you saw two dominant players duke it out instead of watching one ‘Super’ get kicked in the face by three.

  29. Banks says:

    Yeah but they can’t beat the Thunder, Blazers, Bulls, Spurs, and especially not Miami Heat (or any team Lebron is on, Lakers have a problem playing Lebron)

    • kobe's fan says:

      And that explains it all with lebron james with o rings and kobe with 5 rings….lmao.Ur pathethic

      • nbeatz says:

        Yes, and Kobe played in the shadows of Shaq, and had a three point ace in Rick Fox, and an elite gaurd in fisher averaging 13 PPG 7APG and 2SPG, and had one of the most clutch player of all time in Robert Horry. Not to mention the last three were with Gasol, Odem, and Bynum when heathly………….. Who has lebron had with Cleavland??????? A bunch of role players, a tired shaq only able to give 10PPG 8RPG and 25 Minutes Per game, Jaminson a second or third tear star……… in Washington that is. Mo williams an ALL STAR, only because people thought this team should be represented with more then one, Z did what he could, But he was an ALL STAR only once, before james came and averaged 17PPG, the best in his career. KOBE’S IS ONLY HERE BECAUSE OF WHO HE HAS PLAYED WITH. WHO’S PATHETIC NOW….HUH
        Let me also remind you that the lakers also lost the first year they got there hands on Gasol, So MIAMI WILL WIN IT ALL FOR YEARS TO COME. YOU ALL THOUGH THIS TEAM WAS ABOUT THE BIG THREE, well here comes one of the best PF off the bench in the leaque in Haslem, who would be starting on 60% of the teams in this leaque, here comes Cole, one of the most underated players in the leaque, James Jones and Battier will do there part.

    • B-Ball Fan says:

      Alright, gonna be real for a minute, everytime Lebron’s played against Kobe and they guarded eachother LeBrons had bad games, maybe only once has he broke out for 30 and Kobe was close behind even then. Not taking away ANYTHING from LEBrons game because he’s a damn good player, Kobe ca’t catch him or defend him on the break and that’s a fact but LeBron has a hard time defending Kobe’s footwork AND his jump shot even when Kobe was reeling from the flu taking IVs during halftime LeBron still had a hard time guarding Kobe, that’s just me being real and not taking from the abilities of either player. If I had to pick someone LA has had trouble guarding it would be D-Wade more than LeBron.

      • Kobe>>Wade says:

        Kobe has always had a better game than LeBron…. LeBron always need the double team or a help defender in guarding Kobe. If u watch basketball, u would know this! BTW, Kobe was 2nd to Shaq. Shaq was the main anchor of the team. So to me, I think Shaq needed Kobe more to win those three. Mind ya, it was Kobe that took over the games for all the back-back-back and back-back they’ve had recently. Kobe would be 5th all time scoring champ b4 the end of the season. Yall need to stop comparing him to LeBron. Wade is definately better than Lebron but Wade is nowhere close to Kobe

  30. john says:

    speaking of BIG THREE i will take the big 3 of the LAKER anytime compared to big threes’s of any team.

  31. Nonya says:

    Wait no, “No we want Dwight Howard” remarks from you Laker cronies?

    I guess Kobe shut you ducks up

    • Guest69 says:

      What??? Make sense please!

      • Belizeboy says:

        LA fans have constantly been saying they need Howard, but now Kobe says they have a big three and all the comments are like “yeah we don’t need anyone else”. Makes perfect sense.

  32. kobe who? says:

    kobe bryant? Is that the same guy who said that he belives that the lakers can win while they was 3-0 down in the series with the Mavs? oh, okay….If the lakers are gonna look like now, on the end of the season they don’t gonna go further than the second round of the playoff’s, but i wouldn’t be suprised if they loose in the first round or even don’t make the playoffs.

  33. DeBrosh says:

    Kobe is getting really good in mind games! Bynum must now step up or be a buM!

  34. TTKIN says:

    The lakers have a solid record so far for a team with a completely new roster and new coach and no training camp. I have been very impressed considering I figured they’d finish at a .500 clip. The Lakers have their own big 3 and their big 3 is better then that of New York and Boston. Boston’s is way older than the Lakers’, the Knicks big 3 includes a center (who although I am a huge fan of), is not an offensive threat unless he’s catching lobs.

    Kobe is the most aggressive offensive player in the game right now, and it’s no secret, he can make shots. Yes he can make a ton of bad decisions, but he can still hit jumpers. Bynum to me, honestly seems as driven as Lebron James this year. I hate Lebron, but I have to give him props, he came out of the lockout a absolute beast. Bynum did a whole lot of talking about how he should be the centerpiece, and he is compeltely backing it up. The other night he tweaked his knee and simply told Mike Brown “dont worry about me I am fine”. Bynum is ready to be the other superstar center in the NBA.

    And just when you think you have those 2 taken care of, you still have to deal with Gasol, arugably the most skilled big man in the game. I never bought into the Clipper bull that swept the city of LA right off their feet, I am a Laker fan and always will be, the Clippers are cool but they arent my team. And in case anyone hasnt noticed, they arent doing all that great. They’re doing well, but nothing special, even given the franchise’s history. The Lakers are still THE team in LA, Michael Wilbon one of the great basketball minds agrees with me. The Clippers are good, but the Lakers are magical.

  35. doni says:

    lakers should make better decision, better execution, they are a veteran team but they still should run more. That would blow up in turnovers jeje. please mitch make a move for point guard, here are several options jose calderon – raptors; kyle lowry Rockets puts great number low ration in turnovers. jj barea kill us last year great point guard, also luke ridnour; make a trade and sent ebanks, metta, along with blake and rookie point guard morris and put walton there for one of those guys which are playmakers, please get rid of walton he’s a waste of money. try to get trevor ariza back with landry send a package deal for those particular players, so that we can complement the core of the big 3 bryant, gasol, bynum. oh yeah try to get scorer that can make his own plays like martin, drogic for metta, blake, morris, ebanks, mcroberts. or least give a chance to gilbert arenas kmon he’s worth it could solve issues at pg spot, if you dont make any moves you should be fire for incompetence and not puting your team in a position to win, or jerry bus, should focus on something else that is not management of team should be not be allow to make decision.

  36. Tal says:

    Hey, this is the team that will make the run in the playoffs and win it all other then the Miami heat nobody can match our Defense, yeah thats surprising but we’re the best defensive team. Believe it.

  37. jonas says:

    looks like will be seeing 3 LA players, in the allstar game! woo woo woo! bynum in deed is the catalyst in able for the lakers to win it all. i just hope he gets more touches. who thinks if pau plays like PAU GASOL, no team in the nba can match lakers frontcourt! beware of that. plus lakers still got kobe!

  38. Yes the Lakers do have a legitimate big three in Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. The legitimacy of this big three along with the work ethic of both Mike Brown and Kobe Bryant are the primary reasons that I expect that Los Angeles may flirt with a 50-win season.

    At 6-4, the Lakers already are one game ahead of the 5-5 record (http://randomnbafan.com/12/21/2011/los-angeles-lakers-2011-2012-game-by-game-predictions/) that I predicted they would have at this point of the season.

    Fifty-six games remain in the Lakers season and they still have some issues to work out on the offensive end. But if Los Angeles can continue to put forth a solid effort on the defensive end (they have allowed 100 points only twice this season), they will give themselves chances to win games until the offense begins to flow more fluidly.

    • Lexx says:

      Dude it is only once that they gave up 100+ points and that was against the Portland.

    • Jazzhood says:

      So you are saying that the Lakers will only lose MAX six more games? Sorry but no.

      • kobe4mvp says:

        are you dumb? if they only lose 6 more games for the rest of the season they’d be 56-10. they can afford to lose only 12 more if they want 50.