Saturday , Feb , 28 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Andrew Bynum or Lamar Odom?

From the boutiques of Rodeo Drive to the playgrounds of Compton, this question has taken centre stage in Los Angeles, especially since the purple-and-gold has thrived with Odom replacing the injured Bynum in the first five. California’s great debate is Phil Jackson’s luxury. The Zen-Master can lose an up-and-comer like Bynum, slot in Odom, and go 11-2 …


Andrew Bynum or Lamar Odom?HoopsVibe The Blog regularly drops a player comparison for fans to weigh-in on. We call it head-to-head …  

Should the Lakers start Andrew Bynum or Lamar Odom?

From the boutiques of Rodeo Drive to the playgrounds of Compton, this question has taken centre stage in Los Angeles, especially since the purple-and-gold has thrived with Odom replacing the injured Bynum in the first five.

California’s great debate is Phil Jackson’s luxury. The Zen-Master can lose an up-and-comer like Bynum, slot in Odom, and go 11-2.

What happens when Bynum gets healthy? Is the Western Conference’s top squad better with Bynum’s size or Odom’s versatility?

In this edition of ‘Listed’, HoopsVibe the Blog is addressing the Bynum or Odom discussion. As always, read the post, form an opinion, and get at us with thoughts in the comment box below.

The case for Bynum … 

  • Legit seven-footers are rare. Houston aside, no playoff-bound team in the west has the size to battle Bynum in the low-block. And his long armed frame provides a significant edge come playoff time.
  • In last year’s NBA Final, with Bynum on the sideline nursing a knee injury, Boston intimidated Los Angeles and dominated the paint on route to their seventeenth NBA Title. If the Celtics and Lakers meet in a June re-match, Bynum must play major minutes to keep Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins at bay.
  • Politics are a factor. In October, management inked Bynum to a lucrative four-year, 60 million dollar pact, while Odom has gotten the unwanted stepchild treatment, often being linked to trade rumours and losing his starting spot in training camp. The club drafted, developed, and stuck by Bynum, so they’ll give him every opportunity to succeed.

The case for Odom … 

  • Odom is a special talent. Always has been. But other than one magical season with Miami, the lanky four-man hasn’t lived up to expectations. Fans have been waiting for Odom to produce like he is right now. Why tinker with his momentum?
  • Chemistry matters. The Lakers click with Odom starting. Perhaps, it’s his passing, unselfish mentality, or basketball IQ. But positive things happen when he is in the first five.
  • More specifically, there is great ball movement with Odom and Pau Gasol starting at the four and five spots. Gasol, a product of European club and national programs, always makes the extra pass, while Odom, thanks to his days in the backcourt, possesses exceptional vision. 

Short-term: Whenever Bynum returns, he’ll likely split starts with Odom. They’ll rotate based on opponent and performance. For instance, ‘AB’ could get the nod against teams with bigger fives. And Odom –if he continues his exceptional play- will see major minutes and could start against smaller squads.

Long-term: The Lakers have invested significantly in Bynum, so he is their man for the future. Again, this is more about circumstance than performance. With a shrinking salary cap, teetering economy, and Los Angeles’ luxury tax issues, Odom may have to leave as a free agent this summer –unless he lowers his demands and, perhaps, accepts a permanent demotion to the bench.

Bynum or Odom? Who will the Lakers start when they are at full health? Who should they start? Get at us in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of Bridget Samuels.