L.A. Lakers: The Defeat of the Celtics Will Change Melo's Trade Market

Samuel Bell JrSenior Analyst IFebruary 11, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 30:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers is defended by Kendrick Perkins #43 of the Boston Celtics in the second half at Staples Center on January 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Celtics defeated the Lakers 109-96.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Everybody seemed to have it written down and solidified.

The Los Angeles Lakers were just plain lost and their sub-.500 record against the league's top competition would spell failure for them as this season continued.

After Thursday night, it might be time to rethink the death of the champions.

The Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in their backyard, 92-86, in front of a national audience, somewhat payback for the defeat Boston handed them in Staples several weeks ago.

Although it wasn't the one-sided affair it was in L.A.β€”the Lakers proved that they aren't ready to give up that championship title yet.

After recent reports of trade rumors involving Denver Nuggets F Carmelo Anthony and Lakers C Andrew Bynum, the center responded with a 16-point, nine-rebound effort in the win.

Even though Phil Jackson denied reports that the Lakers were looking to deal for Anthony, the recent struggles of the team just fueled speculation.

Bynum was a deterrent defensively against the Celtics, altering shots and offering a low-post presence that championship teams need to thrive.

How does this change the need for Melo in L.A. and where he ultimately ends up?

Whenever a proverbial championship team such as the Lakers are losing games, everyone questions their hunger and come up with sexy rumors that usually have little to no truth to them but have to be addressed.

In response to L.A.'s recent issues, ESPN reporter Chris Broussard reported that the Lakers may be looking to ship Bynum and Ron Artest for Melo.

Any and all Lakers personnel denied this assertion, and Bynum labeled it "just another rumor."

Perhaps he went out in a statement game to prove his worth and give Lakers nation a reason to not call for his head.

Besides the obvious issue of Kobe, Melo and Pau Gasol all getting shots, the possibility of breaking up a two-time champion team at this point in the season is ludicrous.

Bynum may still be a bit raw, but his performance last night was exactly why the Lakers will not be dealing him for Carmelo Anthony or anyone else at this point.

His incredible size at 7'0'' and 285 pounds combined with the size of Gasol and Lamar Odom has been a huge reason why the Lakers have been so successful.

In addition, his ability to alter and block opponents shots and control the glass is something that Melo cannot provide but L.A. needs.

Bynum did that last night in Boston.

He and Gasol combined for 36 points, 19 rebounds and five assists and held Kevin Garnett to just 10 points.

As a result of his strong performance against a marquee team, the Lakers will stick with Bynum and effectively pull themselves out of the Melo market, somewhere they might not have been in the first place.

Anthony had his own special performance in a win against the Dallas Mavericks, but it will do nothing to help bring him to Los Angeles.

Anthony's best option remains the three-team deal on the table between the Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks that will pair him with Amare Stoudemire.

Anthony may be dealt before or on February 24th, but it will not be to the L.A. Lakers.

Unless it's straight up for Derrick Caracter, courtesy of Phil Jackson.


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