Andrew Bynum: The Key To The Lakers Quest For A Three-Peat

Everyone knows that Kobe Bryant is the leader of the Los Angeles Lakers and one of the best basketball players in the world. Pau Gasol is arguably the best overall big man in the NBA today.

When the Lakers take to the hardwood this coming season, the play and health of Kobe and Gasol are obviously going to be important to the Lakers' hopes for winning a third championship in a row. Other factors that will be important are Ron Artest's defense, the play of the bench players, and the team's motivation to put up one of Phil Jackson's best seasons during his supposed farewell tour.

Yet, despite all of these variables that will need to work in LA's favor in order to succeed, the biggest key to the season is Andrew Bynum.

At first glance, it may be easy for one to gloss over him and the importance he brings to the team. During the 2010 playoffs, Bynum only put up averages of 8.6 ppg and 6.9 rpg. Additionally, the Lakers have won the past two championships with Gasol and Odom getting the majority of minutes at the center and power forward positions in the playoffs.

However, there are numerous reasons and some promising trends that indicate that Andrew Bynum is going to be highly effective in making the Lakers successful this year.

While Bynum’s playoff statistics were somewhat unimpressive this year due to his injuries, he put his mark on the game with the impact he brought to his team.


One thing that cannot be replaced is his size. At 7'0" and 285 pounds, there are few centers in the NBA that can match Bynum’s size and toughness. His sheer presence alone will help protect the rim by altering many shots.

And with the scorers on the Lakers squad, Phil Jackson does not need him to be a primary scorer. Rebounding and providing tough interior defense—something that Andrew Bynum has greatly improved on over the past couple of years—are what ...

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