L.A. Lakers: Do The Lakers Miss Andrew Bynum? Ask Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom

Through the first eight games of the 2010-11 season, the performance of the Los Angeles Lakers big men made it easy for fans to forget that their core of post players was incomplete, but after watching Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom get pushed around by Denver, I can't wait until Andrew Bynum gets back.

I'm not sure how many people feel the same way, but judging by Pau Gasol's body language on Thursday night, the thought may have crossed his mind.

To look at Gasol's numbers without the privilege of viewing the game makes it's easy to assume he had another monster outing, because 17 points and 20 rebounds are certainly great numbers for any player.

But Gasol's performance told a story that numbers can't explain.

The Nuggets' front line, decimated by injuries to Kenyon Martin and Chris Andersen, managed to completely take Gasol out of his offensive game in the second half, and they employed a strategy that is all too familiar to Lakers' fans.

Denver took a page from the Boston Celtics of 2008 by physically imposing their will on Odom, and especially Gasol, and the strategy worked. And it's not even like it was Kevin Garnett or Kendrick Perkins doing the pushing.

NeNe, who is about three inches shorter than Gasol, and Al Harrington, who is closer to five inches shorter, constantly pushed Gasol away from the rim, and made every shot he took difficult.

The Nuggets were in Gasol's head so bad that he even had trouble scoring in great scoring position, as illustrated by the fourth-quarter play in the Denver game, where Gasol had the ball ripped from his extended arms right at the rim.

I haven't said much about Odom because there is really little to say except he went 1-6 from the floor with three points, and he was so out of rhythm that coach Phil Jackson benched him in the fourth quarter in favor of Shannon Brown.

I had recently joined the chorus of people who felt that J...

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