Los Angeles Lakers Severely Lacking Size Without Andrew Bynum
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The Los Angeles Lakers need big bodies.
Right now, the Lakers are relying on Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol to man the minutes at the inside positions. Both are currently averaging more minutes per game than Phil Jackson would like. However, he has no other choices because the team took a gamble over the summer.
Andrew Bynum would normally be the starting center. He would occupy at least 30 to 35 minutes at that spot. The 7'0", 285 pound big man has yet to play a game this season because he's still recovering from injuries. His return would be a major assist to Odom and Gasol.
During the summer, the Lakers opted to not make backup big men a priority. That's a big reason why Jackson is struggling right now with his player rotation. The other options simply are not appealing.
Theo Ratliff was signed over the summer to add depth to the bench. However, he's currently out with an injury. That shouldn't come as a surprise because the veteran center has not been the least bit durable over the last couple of seasons. Derrick Caracter has good size at 6'9", 275 pounds, but the rookie has yet to be able to earn Jackson's trust.
Matt Barnes and Ron Artest generally play out on the wing, but they've been providing some minutes inside. They both work hard, but that's far from being a long term solution.
If only the Lakers had been able to sign veteran center Kurt Thomas as a free agent this summer, things wouldn't be all that difficult for Jackson right now.
It never hurts to stock up on size. The Lakers know that lesson all too well right now.
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