Would the L.A Lakers Be a Better Team with a Healthy Andrew Bynum?

Dwight Howard may not yet be the defensive force that fans of the Los Angeles Lakers expected when the team acquired him in a trade involving Andrew Bynum, but it's hard to argue with the results when you consider that Bynum has yet to play a single minute for his new team, the Philadelphia 76ers.

The knee injuries which have derailed Bynum's career escalated to ridiculous heights with the news that Bynum may have suffered a setback while bowling, and while the lingering effects from Howard's own back injury have prevented him from living up to his promise, the Lakers certainly dodged a bullet by getting rid of Bynum when they did.

I'm not sure if Bynum would have suffered a new injury if the Lakers would have chosen to retain him, but how would the relatively healthy Bynum that grew into a dominant force last season change the look of the struggling 2013 version of the Lakers if he were still around?

Howard was supposed to be the defensive anchor for the Lakers in the middle, but the Lakers of 2011-12 were actually a much better defensive team with Bynum manning the paint.

Last season the Lakers allowed 95.9 points per game and their opponents shot 43.7 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from the three point line. This season the Lakers allow 101.4 points per game, 45 percent shooting from the field and 35.4 percent from the three-point line.

There are numerous reasons for the defensive decline, some of which include a head coach who seems to have no concept of defensive strategy, one of the worst starting defensive point guards in the NBA in Steve Nash and horrible transition defense.

Howard also deserves some of the blame, though no fault of his own, since the back injury he suffered last season has robbed him of the explosion that made him special in the first place.

Howard no longer strikes fear into the hearts of his opponents just because of his presence, and te...

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