Thursday , Aug , 28 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Healthy Andrew Bynum makes L.A. Lakers a favourite in 2008-09

Today, he’s hailed the missing link to the Lakers’ title hopes. After all, Bynum was the NBA’s best young post before sustaining a January knee injury, which sidelined him for the season. A healthy ‘manchild’ makes last year’s NBA Finals much more competitive. So you can understand Mitch Kupchak’s check-up in Atlanta. Without Bynum, the Lakers are an elite team. With him, they’re the favourite in 2008-09 …

Healthy Andrew Bynum makes L.A. Lakers a favourite in 2008-09Today’s NBA news mixed with analysis …

News:

Lakers center Andrew Bynum might not be quite ready to start playing NBA basketball just yet. But the 7-footer looks bigger and stronger than ever, and is able to run with no apparent effects from the knee injury that wiped out his season last January.

At least that’s the report from Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, who traveled to Atlanta this week along with VP Jim Buss and Director of Scouting Bill Bertka to check in on his rehabilitating 20-year-old star.

"He looks to be in great shape. He looks ready to go," Kupchak said in a phone interview Thursday. "There’s no reason to believe he won’t be 100 percent for training camp." (CNNSI, Marty Burns)

Quick Analysis: Times have changed for Andrew Bynum. In August of 2007, he was downplaying Kobe Bryant’s cell phone rampage and trying to ignore those Jason Kidd rumours.

Today, he’s hailed as the missing link to the Lakers’ title hopes. After all, Bynum was the NBA’s best young post before sustaining a January knee injury, which sidelined him for the season. A healthy ‘manchild’ makes last year’s NBA Finals much more competitive.

So you can understand Mitch Kupchak’s check-up in Atlanta. Without Bynum, the Lakers are an elite team. With him, they’re the favourite in 2008-09.

Their starting unit is outstanding. Bryant is a superstar, Fisher is a solid point guard, and the frontcourt, with a healthy Bynum, is arguably the NBA’s best. The bench is ten, eleven deep; Coach Phil Jackson is an all-time great.

The pieces are there. And Bynum, if he returns to form, can come full circle and play hero.

Will Bynum put L.A. over the top. Get at us in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Polvitos.