On January 31, 2009, Kobe Bryant was driving to the basket for a shot, came down falling back onto Andrew Bynum’s knee, injuring Lakers starting center. As a result, Bynum was diagnosed with a torn medial collateral ligament and will miss 8-12 weeks.
Andrew Bynum was averaging 14pts, 8.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks a game for the 2009 season, coming back from a prior injury last year in mid-January where he dislocated his left kneecap and didn’t come back for the rest of the season. The following year he began off slow, but soon started to come back to his All-Star caliper status before he got badly injured again for the second time in the last 2 years. In the last 5 games before he got injured, he was averaging 26.2 pts, 13.8 rebounds, 3.2 blocks, 65.3% shooting a game.
Kobe, the Laker team, and the Laker fans was devastated. Now the question was could the Los Angeles Lakers win a championship title without Andrew Bynum? He brought more depth in the inside post game and rebounds. His defense in the middle created blocks, or just his presences made driving, penetrating players have to adjust their shot. Some may have said that if LA had Andrew Bynum in the NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, Lakers would have won a NBA championship ring. To have Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, and a good supporting cast, the Los Angeles Lakers looks to have a good chance at the championship.
One of their best is injured and now the whole team has to adjust offensively and defensively. It looks to be harder to win the title without Bynum. It just means Lakers would have to work harder. Lakers know they didn’t win the title last year because of their lack of defense against the Boston Celtics. This year Lakers have shown they can play defense, but are inconsistent. The US coaching staff chose Kobe to be on the Olympic Team for defensive reasons, and it has shown this year holding back Lebron James, Paul Pierce, and others from scoring easily. If this can spread to the whole team, Lakers can have hope to win the championship.
On Feb. 05, 2009, the Los Lakers played against the team who beat them in the Finals last year for the championship, the Boston Celtics at the TD Banknorth Garden arena. It was a close game that went into overtime. The Lakers came together and won the match up against the Boston Celtics.
The day before the Lakers-Celtics game, the Lakers came back from a match up against Toronto, flew all the way to Boston, had energy to play against the Celtics and win a close thrilling game. It shows determination on the Los Angeles Lakers to do what it takes to win, and show that playing back to back games will not slow them down. In my opinion, Lakers have a good chance towards a championship title, but we shall see…..