The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Nuggets 92-89 behind Andrew Bynum's 29 points and 13 rebounds. That's a great opening line for any reporting of Lakers' ballgames. But, I'm a little concerned with how the Lakers won.
I don't like the idea of Bynum leading the way, because it made the game too close for my comforts. Sure Bynum got the stats along with the minutes, but coach Brown, in keeping Bynum on the floor that long; I noticed that the bench was thrown off.
Looking at the Lakers' bench stats for their first 4 games, it looks like this:
Against Chicago: L.A. bench 29 points 15 rebounds. (Should have been a win)
Against Sacramento: L.A. bench 33 points 18 rebounds. (Loss)
Against Utah: L.A. bench 27 points 18 rebounds. (Win)
Against New York: L.A. bench 40 points 15 rebounds. (Win)
Now, against Denver: L.A. bench 16 points 12 rebounds. (Win)
Yes, Andrew Bynum came up big for the Lakers stat wise, but as you can see, it is at the expense of bench production. How long can this formula work for the Lakers? I'm telling you, without good bench production, this team won't go far in the playoffs. And if coach Brown wants to make a star out of Bynum at the expense of the bench, I have to ask: what are you doing?
Coach Brown gets himself a 3 point win in the last minutes of the game by making Bynum the star of the game? I don't like it. Why you ask?
Because Andrew Bynum has never led the Lakers to anything. Kobe Bryant is the leader of this team and for the Lakers to win, the team has to go through Bryant and not Bynum. If the team starts to rely on Bynum for numbers like he got in today's game, then the Lakers are in trouble.
Bynum is not ready to lead. He's ready to be a strong contributor and that's what the Lakers need right now. The Lakers don't need another leader.
Perhaps I'm wrong, but the Lakers play the Nuggets, again, tomorrow. Let's see what happens tomorrow and talk about it then.
Remember, we're looking for basketball patterns.