Los Angeles Laker Vs. Washington Wizards: Andrew Bynum Returns For Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of a seven-game road trip, and will take on the Washington Wizards tonight. While the Lakers have gotten back to their winning ways after losing four straight, they aren't exactly playing like the team that won the Championship last season. Los Angeles has trailed in the fourth quarter in seven of their last nine games, and only two of those nine were against teams with a winning record.

The Wizards have simply had trouble just winning games of late. Washington has dropped nine of their last 11 games, including a 101-95 loss at home to the Knicks on Friday. The Lakers and Wizards faced off at the Staples Center last Tuesday, and while the Lakers came away with a 115-108 victory, the Wizards were in the game all the way up until the end. The oddsmakers don't seem to think it will be such a close game this time around, as our current NBA spreads have the Lakers favored by 10.5 points over the Wizards tonight.

While the Lakers haven't look all that great lately, that could change in a real hurry with the return of Andrew Bynum, who has said he expects to play tonight against the Wizards. There is no question that having Bynum back makes this team a lot stronger, as it allows the Lakers to cut back on the minutes of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom. It's unclear how much playing time Bynum will get, but any little bit will make a big difference for this team.

Bynum will force the Wizards to shift their defense more to the paint, which will create a lot more open shots for the Lakers outside players, including Kobe Bryant, who had 32 points against the Wizards last week. Bynum also makes the Lakers a much better defensive team, as he controls the paint and forces opposing teams to take contested shots.

While the Lakers may be getting one of their best players back tonight, the Wizards could be without rookie sensation John Wall, whose status is questionable with knee s...

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