L.A. Lakers: Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher’s Focus Trump Andrew Bynum’s Immaturity

The Los Angeles Lakers are such a veteran and experienced team that sometimes it's easy to forget that center Andrew Bynum is actually a kid in a rotation filled with adults.

Bynum, at 23 years of age, is almost a decade younger than all of the other Lakers starters, and in a recent game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Bynum's immaturity surfaced in a hard foul on Michael Beasley.

Bynum delivered a hard shot to Beasley, and it was apparent that little or no attempt was made by Bynum on the ball.

Thankfully Beasley was not injured badly, and Bynum has already issued an apology, but considering the time of year and what's at stake for the Lakers, this all could have turned out very badly.

Bynum served the first game of a two-game suspension due to his foul on Beasley in Sunday night's game against Portland, and his absence was felt as the Trail Blazers out-rebounded the Lakers 45-35.

But the Lakers were still able to extend their streak to 13 victories in the past 14 games with an 84-80 win, because of the focus of Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher.

Hopefully Bynum will learn from his mistake and learn to get a better grasp of his emotions, but it's good to have a backup plan like Bryant and Fisher at your disposal.

Portland looked to be in command of Sunday's night's game until late in the fourth quarter when consecutive steals by Fisher led to a game-tying basket and a two-point lead.

Fisher later iced the game with a 17-foot jumper with 10 seconds left to play, which serves as a reminder of his closing potential at this time of the season.

Bryant scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, and the last three minutes of the game were strictly the Bryant and Fisher show as the two Lakers made the biggest plays at the biggest moments.

Bryant also shrugged off an aching jaw and neck from a hard hit in the Minnesota game and the remnants of a...

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