The old adage is that two heads are better than one. So yes, having Dwight Howard in a Lakers uniform would be phenomenal, but having both Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol keeps the Lakers' heads above the rest—literally.
The Lakers shot and played great in the first half last night against the Portland Trail Blazers in a 96-107 loss. The second half is where it all fell apart. Traditionally, the Lakers don't play well at the Rose Garden, but as the season goes on head coach Mike Brown will continue to get this group to develop a cognizant chemistry with the big guys down low.
Spacing on the court is key, and the Lakers looked like that part of the game plan had been perfected last night. But again, that was in the first half.
The Lakers are usually one of the top contenders in the NBA, but as of now, in the season's early stages, it looks like Portland and Oklahoma City are the new sheriffs out west.
Bynum was on top of his game throughout the night's loss, but there were times when he got the ball out of position and tried to do too much.
Dribbling from the top of the key and trying to cross-over his defender isn't the natural forte of Bynum. To be most effective, he needs to keep his back turned to the basket and make power moves. This way, he can be a force just as dominant as Shaq was for the Lakers.
With Gasol, things are different and open up more on the finesse end of the game. Gasol isn't soft; his moves are just too flowing and predictable for the high basketball IQ. He doesn't have to like banging with the big boys down low. But come crunch-time, Gasol better adapt and adjust.
Gasol goes for high-percentage and very cautious layups or delicate dunks. Neither are going to work against the NBA's best in the post, and that's exactly where Gasol and Bynum complement each other.
Bynum will go to work with his size advantage offensively while Gasol can both open up the floor with his shooting and help Bynum clog the middle defensively with their long arms. Floaters and mid-range jumpers from small guards should be next to impossible with both of them down low.
At this point, although the Lakers are 4-4, they seem to be getting their game plan intact. It has been too long in the league for Kobe Bryant to still think he has something to prove to the fans. Bryant will get his points regardless, and as long as Bynum is healthy, the big man should be the focal point.
The experience is there throughout the Lakers roster and changes isn't always a good thing. Keep Bynum and Gasol. Right now it's just a matter of putting it all together and making it happen when it counts most.