LA Lakers: 5 Reasons Why Andrew Bynum Remains the Key to a Lakers Three-Peat

They're finally starting to figure it out—you can sense it, I can sense it, the rest of the league can sense it. Now that we've finally turned the page on the calendar to March 1, the Lakers can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  

They know that things are going to start to matter really soon, and if the first four games after the All-Star break are any indication, they may actually consider these games to be important too.

Phil Jackson perhaps said it best in the very beginning of the season: "You know, it's hard to get these guys to care too much about a regular season game."  

At the time, I didn't think much of it, but when you consider what this group has been through since the Gasol trade, it makes perfect sense.  

Three straight NBA Finals appearances and two straight NBA titles would make it hard for any team to truly care about a game before mid-April, a point this Lakers team has continued to prove time and time again over the last four months.  

However, with just 21 regular season games remaining, the Lakers have won four straight since the All-Star break, including two impressive road wins over Portland and Oklahoma City.  

So who or what exactly has been the key to this sudden Lakers turnaround, you ask?  The same person who we've said is the key to this team since they were blown out by the Celtics in the 2008 NBA Finals...Andrew Lee Bynum.  

That's right, the 23-year-old, oft-injured, seven-foot, 285-lb. center himself.  The Lakers won the title last year because of their defense, and the only way they will win the title again this season (much like Kobe Bryant has told us time and time again in his postgame interviews) will be the result of a renewed commitment on the defensive end.  

And who is at the center of the new defensive scheme the Lakers implemented in January?  You guessed it...


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