It’s not like the Lakers are struggling, they are 5-0 and with one of the best point differentials in the league. Kobe is clearly 100 percent, playing in the World Championships has Lamar Odom in midseason form, Gasol is Gasol, and Steve Blake and Matt Barnes are fitting in well.
But it is all about the Lakers offense. It is fantastic — Los Angeles is putting up more points per possession than any team in the NBA, 117 per 100 possess. But their defense has been average — 13th in the league at 103.8 points per 100 possessions.
The reason is that they don’t have a real shot blocking presence in the lane. But there is good news on that front. Well, if you’re a Lakers fan.
Andrew Bynum could return to the practice court as soon as next week, Phil Jackson said, as reported by Mike Trudell Lakers.com. He is almost fully back to “load bearing activities” — running on the treadmill — and next up is basketball activities in practice. The first steps toward games and a return in a few weeks.
When he does return, Jackson said Bynum would start and Odom would go to the bench, according to the Land O’ Lakers blog. This is what Jackson did in the past, for a couple reasons. One is that Odom is more mature of the two and better able to mentally handle the bench role.
Second is to keep Bynum warm — he comes out and warms up pregame, and when he sat then came in off the bench he seemed to spend time just getting lose again. When he just came in he was much more of a force in the game.
That may be around the end of the month, if he really is back on the practice court next week.