Wednesday , Feb , 16 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Is Andrew Bynum unhappy?

He complained about his lack of playing time, his lack of touches and the Lakers’ lack of effort. I was out there playing hard, man," Bynum said. "In the second half, I didn’t really get in the game."

Bynum played only 23 minutes 8 seconds. He scored nine points, shooting only six times, making three. In the second half, Bynum played 8:07, and not at all in the fourth quarter. He scored one point after halftime, and got only one shot.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s the difference between mediocrity and greatness.

When Andrew Bynum is injured, struggling, or frustrated, the Lakers are vulnerable against bigger, athletic teams. Like, say, the Charlotte Bobcats.

On Monday, Team Jordan had their way with the purple-and-gold, dominating the paint in a blow out victory over the Lakers. 

While Bynum’s complaints about minutes and touches aren’t reason to panic, Coach Phil Jackson must keep Bynum happy. His well-being, both physical and mental, must be monitored.

After all, Bynum was involved in some viral gossip last week –the Lakers and Denver Nuggets reportedly discussed swapping the seven-footer for Carmelo Anthony. 

When Bynum is relatively healthy and focused, the Lakers are a tough match-up because of his size. Few teams can handle a frontcourt of Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Bynum.

For instance, Bynum, even with a wonky knee, was too much for the Boston Celtics to handle in game seven of the NBA Finals. His frame, length, and wingspan were key to the Lakers winning the championship.

To have any chance at a thee-peat, the Lakers need a healthy and happy Bynum. 

–Oly Sandor.

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