Wednesday , Mar , 19 , 2008 Oly Sandor

The L.A. Lakers Options Without Andrew Bynum

Keep dreaming until playoffs. Yesterday, word broke that Bynum’s return from knee troubles have been delayed until April. Of course, Gasol is still out with his own ankle problems. So L.A.’s best power forward and center have no regular season dress rehearsal to gel. Instead, Gasol and Bynum must click on the bright lights and big stage of the highly competitive Western Conference playoffs …

The L.A. Lakers Options Without Andrew BynumMy AM Take: Laker fans have been dreaming of a Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum frontcourt since heisting Gasol from Memphis in a mid-January trade.

Keep dreaming until playoffs. Yesterday, word broke that Bynum’s return from knee troubles has been delayed until April. Of course, Gasol is still out with his own ankle problems.

So L.A.’s best power forward and center have no regular season dress rehearsal to gel. Instead, Gasol and Bynum must click on the bright lights and big stage of the highly competitive Western Conference playoffs.

This is a worry. Teams want their best ready for the second season. Fear not, the Lakers have enticing options.

Gasol, once healthy, will play the five-spot until Bynum returns. Sure, the Spaniard isn’t a legit seven-footer, but he is a legit All-Star. So the purple-and-gold could match Gasol’s skill at center with Ronny Turiaf’s energy at power forward.

The Lakers could hope for a team without a big in the first round. Houston, Dallas, and Golden State would be preferred opponents. This would give Bynum time to find his game before a second round duel against San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, Phoenix’s Shaquille O’Neal, New Orleans’ David West and Tyson Chandler, or Utah’s Carlos Boozer.

Finally, Kobe Bryant will have to fill in the gaps. The game’s greatest player and my regular season MVP is primed for post-season action. Last night, he led several Lakers in an after-game workout even though they beat the Mavericks in Dallas.

In an ideal world, the Lakers would have Bynum before the playoffs. But, for the reasons listed above, things could be worse in Laker-nation.

Will L.A. manage without Bynum? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to Oly Sandor’s blog for more NBA tidbits and his AM Take.

(Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguelyartistic/292188656/)