Los Angeles Lakers’ Big Man Issue: Bynum or Odom To the Bench?

It’s easy to get attached to the current roster if we simply hold onto the 13-4 record. After all, why fix something if it ain’t broken, right?


With the recent loss to the Pacers, many fans are desperately crying out for the return of the M.I.A. Andrew Bynum. But when he comes back, do the Lakers send him to the bench or keep him in the starting five?

It’s not rocket science to figure out what went horribly wrong in the ugly game with the Indiana Pacers. Gasol shot 5 of 15 and Hibbert marked his territory in the paint with 24 points and 12 rebounds. All this was on L.A.’s home court.

Gasol hates the word “soft.” Ever since the 2008 Finals left a hideous scar on his reputation, Gasol has frowned heavily upon that scathing remark. But he reverted back to his old ways by allowing a sophomore to score on 9 of 13 shots, and with Bynum missing, the paint was left wide open for Hibbert’s dunk in the most critical moment in the game.

What the game against the Pacers showed us was that we desperately need Bynum back. Even Phil Jackson expressed his frustrations about Andrew’s extended absence.

“We’re playing Pau too many minutes [and we] don’t have a backup for either he or Lamar right now, so that’s a real problem. We put all our eggs in the basket of Andrew coming back and we hoped he be back by this time, by Nov. 15, by Thanksgiving time, by [our last] road trip, etc. We don’t know when Andrew is coming back.” 

Gasol and Odom are averaging 38.7 and 34.6 minutes per game respectively, and with Ratliff out for another 3-5 weeks, our center position is left to hang dry with an inexperienced Derrick Caracter trying to fill in the void.

Odom was never big on post-defense (or defense in general), and Pau is not a defensive specialist either. When matched up against point-guards in a s...

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