Pivot Points: Andrew Bynum Is Wary Of the New Year And Memphis Grizzlies

Andrew Bynum is apprehensive in his approach to games in the months of February and January which involve the Memphis Grizzlies and, considering recent history, his concerns may very well be justified.

In January of 2008 Bynum was sidelined by a horrific knee injury which caused him to miss the rest of the season. The injury was at first thought to be one he could return from, but his failure to show progress was a cause of frustration in the Los Angeles Laker organization.

Bynum had just began to show the promise the team had envisioned for him, and his play was instrumental in quieting Kobe Bryant's trade demands which had dominated news for the previous year.

A positive secondary effect of Bynum's injury for the Lakers was the ability to acquire Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies, the team Los Angeles was playing when Bynum's injury occurred.

Gasol's quick assimilation to the triangle offense and his overall versatility enabled the Lakers to earn a trip to the 2008 NBA Finals where they were beaten by the Boston Celtics as Bynum looked on.

Bynum vowed to return the next season healthy and ready to help the Lakers get back to the Finals, and he did just that, displaying what he learned from a summer of tutelage from Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The tandem of Gasol and Bynum in the middle gave the Lakers the most imposing front line in the NBA, and along with Kobe Bryant and the rest of the supporting cast, the Lakers were widely considered the best team in the league.

But, disaster struck Bynum once again in early February of 2009 on a freak play in which Bryant fell back on Bynum's knee while challenging for a rebound, an injury which resulted in an extended period of missed playing time.

Once again the opponent was Memphis and once again Bynum missed crucial playing time when the Lakers were in the midst of their second consecutive Finals run.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers