Andrew Bynum: Big Man Must Come Up Big in Lakers’ Three-Peat Bid

With all due respect to Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum is the most skilled pure center in the NBA. It’s now time for him to take that next step.

If the Lakers are going to complete the fourth three-peat of Phil Jackson’s career, and the second of Kobe Bryant’s, Andrew Bynum must play a major role.

In five professional seasons, Bynum, who doesn’t turn 23 years old until October 27, has matured physically and, with the help of a legend, refined his low-post game.

Over the past three seasons, Bynum’s shown himself to be physically gifted, incredibly skilled, and occasionally dominant. He’s come a long way since Kobe Bryant publicly lamented the franchise’s reluctance to trade him in exchange for Jason Kidd. 

He’s put in the work and developed his game. What more do the Lakers need from Andrew Bynum to complete the three-peat?

First and foremost, he must stay on the floor. Over the past three years, injuries have robbed him of 96 regular season games, cost him the entire 2008 postseason, and limited him to less than 18 minutes per game in the Lakers’ 2009 title run.

With a healthy Andrew Bynum, the Lakers will be able to field the best big lineup in recent memory.

Think about this: the 2010-11 Lakers will trot out a roster consisting of Kobe Bryant (6’6”), Pau Gasol (7’0"), Bynum (7’0"), Lamar Odom (6’10”), Ron Artest (6’7”), Matt Barnes (6’7”), and Shannon Brown (6’4”, which is pretty good for a PG). And we’re not even taking into account Luke Walton (6’8”), Sasha Vajucic (6’7”—does that sound about three inches too high to anyone else?), or potential impact second-rounders Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter (6’9” each).

When healthy, Bynum’s a double-double machine and a constant thr...

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