Andrew Bynum's Newest Injury Threatens the Los Angeles Lakers Repeat Bid

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IMay 2, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY - APRIL 30: Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to shoot the ball against Jeff Green #22 and Nenad Krstic  #12 both of the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs on April 30, 2010 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Fate may have dealt a blow to the Los Angeles Lakers quest for a repeat. Unfortunately, the culprit is one Laker fans are all too familiar with.

It was revealed earlier today that Andrew Bynum suffered a small tear in his meniscus, and although he attempted to play through the pain it's an ominous sign for the Lakers going forward.

Bynum just began to find his rhythm in the Lakers offense and defense after returning from an injury to his achilles' tendon.

True to form, Bynum faces the prospects of yet another postseason marred by injury.

It hasn't been determined if Bynum will risk further injury by playing on his knee, but it's safe to assume there is a possibility he could cause more damage by over-exerting himself.

This is the third knee injury Bynum has suffered in as many years. This one occurred at some point in the third quarter of the Lakers close-out game against Oklahoma City.

Bynum was visibly limping in that game, and by the fourth quarter it was apparent his knee was preventing him from moving laterally on the court.

If Bynum is unable to continue, the Lakers lose the services of a talented seven-footer. When paired with Pau Gasol in the paint, the tandem gives the Lakers one of the more formidable front courts in the postseason.

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Bynum is talented for certain, but his career has been defined by injuries almost as much as hisย yet to be realized potential. His various setbacks are seen as a reason his game has yet to mature.

Los Angeles may be able to defeat the Utah Jazz in the second round of the NBA playoffs, but an absent Bynum would lessen the considerable advantage the Lakers held in the post.

Reaction from the team has yet to be revealed, but it has to be disappointing considering the Lakers were finally beginning to resemble the team that captured last year's NBA championship.

The Lakers have played through the postseason without Bynum before, managing to reach the 2008 NBA Finals while he was injured.

The rest of the league has to be encouraged by this news.

Teams like Cleveland and Orlando added height along their front line specifically to deal with Los Angeles, and if the Lakers were to reach the Finals without Bynum they would be at a disadvantage against either team.

Seems like all the talk about the Lakers being a team of destiny may have been premature on my part, because as Andrew Bynum proves, fate may have other plans.

Hopefully Bynum will still be able to contribute to the Lakers quest for a repeat championship. However considering his history, the road just got a lot tougher for the defending champions.

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