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Andrew Bynum should help the Lakers improve
Starting with the obvious, two big events the Los Angeles Lakers can look forward to are the returns of the team’s centers: Andrew Bynum and Theo Ratliff.
At 7’0” and 285 pounds, few players can match Bynum’s size and brute strength. Besides being able to get easy scores, usually among the league leaders in field-goal percentage, Bynum’s return will provide many additional advantages for his team.
First, Bynum playing the center position will allow Pau Gasol to play his natural position of power forward. While playing the four position, Gasol is less likely to get beaten up as much by true centers.
Furthermore, when Bynum goes to the bench, Gasol can play some backup center and have his way with opposing reserve unit centers.
Bynum starting will signal Lamar Odom’s return to the bench. Resuming his role as a super-sub, Odom can team with the Killer B’s unit of Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, and Shannon Brown to form perhaps the best bench in the NBA.
The return of Andrew Bynum will also allow Gasol to get some much-needed rest, as he is averaging about 40 minutes of playing time per game so far. This has led to several recent poor games and a hamstring injury.
The return of Theo Ratliff will help spell additional relief for Gasol and Odom, who has been forced at times to play center this season. Ratliff, along with Bynum, will help shore up the interior defense for the Lakers.
No one really fears Gasol in the middle, as opponents routinely get layups at the rim against LA. Bynum is more of an intimidating presence, not afraid to bang down low with other bigs.
Meanwhile, Ratliff is one of the all-time leading shot blockers in NBA history. Like Bynum, Ratliff is less likely to let easy opportunities at the basket.
Having Gasol and Bynum play together once again will give LA an imposing twin tower lineup that will make it much more difficult for opponents to score close to the basket.
In short, there are so many factors that look to play into the Lakers’ favor once Bynum and Ratliff return to court action.