Now having a few weeks of playing time notched under his belt, Andrew Bynum is finally showing signs of the player he has the potential of being—the player he was prior to missing most of the second half of last season. While his 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots contributed to the Lakers victory over the Suns, it was his energy, hustle and effectiveness on both ends of the floor that made him standout among the rest of the team.
It’s always been Bynum’s goal to make the All-Star team. This might be his year. That is of course, he’s able to pass an injured Yao Ming in the voting.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, their top notch front court has been without Pau Gasol’s token consistency. For reasons unknown, Gasol has been in a funk lately. Instead of powering up or driving to the hoop, he’s settling for jumpers—some easy, some not so easy.
Teams are making a conscious effort to have one or two players body him up, which tends to put a hamper on Gasol’s offense. He could just be adjusting to having Bynum back in the starting lineup, but they’ve played together before. Perhaps those 40-plus minute games have finally caught up with him and all the Spaniard may need to get back on trap is a few nights left to rest on the bench.
In any case, expect Gasol to make the necessary adjustments and go back to being the Lakers’ pillar of consistency. Last night’s performance was more like the old Gasol. It’s probably for the best before Phil Jackson makes a subtle comment to get Gasol going.