Monday , Feb , 02 , 2009 Christopher Sells

Bynum, Bosh and All-Star Rosters

Bad for the Lakers, good for the Raptors and is David West honestly better than Al Jefferson or Carmelo Anthony this year?

Bynum, Bosh and All-Star RostersWell, football season is over now. The Super Bowl put a nice, pretty bow on the NFL season (no, the Pro Bowl doesn’t get to be included) and we’ll talk about that for a couple more days. Baseball season hasn’t started yet and even if it had, baseball sucks. No one pays any attention to hockey. The few people who pay attention to golf are paying less attention because Tiger Woods isn’t back yet. And it’s not March yet, so college basketball isn’t incredibly compelling at the moment, unless you’re watching the ACC or the Big East.

That leaves the NBA to capture everyone’s attention, at least for the moment. Give the casual fans a little time to catch up on what they’ve missed and let’s get ready for the stretch run of what should be a very memorable finish in both conferences. From the Boston/Orlando/Cleveland battle in the East to the logjam in the middle (and the bottom, actually) of the West, there should be plenty to keep us entertained. So strap in and enjoy the ride.

Here’s what’s important today.

Bynum Out 8-12 Weeks

Andrew Bynum had been playing like a man possessed. OK, that’s an overstatement, but averaging 26 points, 14 boards, three blocks and shooting 65% from the floor in the last five games, including 42 and 15 on the 21st, is nothing to sneeze at. There had been optimism surrounding his knee injury (suffered from a collision with Kobe Bryant); many thought that it might just be a sprain. Instead, the news is much worse: Bynum will likely miss the remainder of the regular season with a torn MCL, putting the Lakers championship hopes on thin ice.

Bynum was injured last season when the Lakers made their run to the Finals, which prompted many to believe that the team would surely make a return trip once the big man returned healthy. The team’s strong play up to this point did nothing to quiet those assertions, as Bynum was starting to come into his own of late and L.A. began to look more like a team than simply being Kobe and everybody else.

Now, the Lakers must retool their lineup while trying to hold onto the top spot in the Western Conference. If they manage to continue to play well, they’ll have to figure out how to work Bynum back in either at the tail end of the season or during the playoffs once he has healed up. At that point of the season, teams would much rather be hitting their stride, knowing their strengths and weaknesses and being able to ride them to victories on the court.

So what happens to the Lakers now? We’ll see. Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments section, though.

Bosh to Stay or Go?
Chris Bosh started the year being talked about as a potential MVP candidate. Unfortunately, his play tailed off, as has the Raptors’ play. At 19-30, Toronto owns the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference. The good news, though, is that this puts them four games out of a playoff spot with three months left in the season. They’ll also have the opportunity to get better through a trade in advance of the deadline just over two weeks from now.

But that’s talking about now. As has been the custom all over the league this season, the talk centers on the future. A report came out this morning that claimed that Bosh had informed the Raptors that he would not be re-signing with them in the summer of 2010 because he "has no desire to remain in Toronto." Well, this afternoon, Bosh and the team came out and denied the story to the Toronto paper.

"No. No. No, I haven’t told [Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo] that," Bosh said Monday after practice.

"There’s no truth to the rumour or the speculation that he said anything to us in the organization, that he’s going to be leaving," said [Colangelo]. "There’s no truth to the fact that he’s on the trading block or being shopped in any regard."

So no matter how bad things are going north of the border, it appears that Bosh and the Raptors will be sticking with each other, at least for now. These rumors wouldn’t be flying if the team were winning, though. Get on that, guys.

ASG Update
I didn’t have the chance to post last week after the rosters for the Rookie/Sophomore Game and the All-Star reserves were announced. I’ll post them below and let you readers discuss who should or shouldn’t be participating in Phoenix in two weeks. Happy commenting!

Rookie Team:

Michael Beasley
Rudy Fernandez
Marc Gasol
Eric Gordon
Brook Lopez
OJ Mayo
Greg Oden
Derrick Rose
Russell Westbrook

Sophomore Team:

Aaron Brooks
Wilson Chandler
Kevin Durant
Jeff Green
Al Horford
Luis Scola
Al Thornton
Rodney Stuckey
Thaddeus Young

Eastern All-Stars (*=starter):
Allen Iverson*
Dwyane Wade*
LeBron James*
Kevin Garnett*
Dwight Howard*
Joe Johnson
Jameer Nelson
Danny Granger
Paul Pierce
Chris Bosh
Devin Harris
Rashard Lewis
Coached by Cavs’ Mike Brown

Western All-Stars (*=starter):

Kobe Bryant*
Chris Paul*
Tim Duncan*
Amare Stoudemire*
Yao Ming*
Dirk Nowitzki
Shaquille O’Neal
Brandon Roy
Chauncey Billups
Pau Gasol
David West
Tony Parker
Coached by Lakers’ Phil Jackson