Yahoo Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo every day. Learn more »Yahoo Contributor Network
The Impact of Bynum Staying Healthy: A Fan’s Take
There are a lot of storylines surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers, but lost in the shuffle of trade talk is the health of Andrew Bynum this season. In the past, Bynum was a major injury risk, so it is nice to see him stay on the floor this season. Obviously health is not guaranteed in the future, but this is something that Laker fans should appreciate given the history of the young big man.
A picture of health
Bynum last played 82 games in the '05-'06 season. Granted, he only started 53 games that year, so he was able to lessen the wear and tear on his body. After that year, the number of games per season is not pretty. 35 games in '07-'08. 50 games in '08-'09. 65 games in '09-'10. 54 games in '10-'11. This string of injury-riddled years caused many Laker fans to question whether Andrew would ever be able to stay healthy enough the live up to his potential.
Dominating big man
This year it seems like Bynum has finally found his groove. It will help that he started the season late and that the season will be shorter. As of March 4, Andrew was averaging 16.2 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game. Those are the numbers of a dominant big man, and if Kobe Bryant was not on this team, it seems reasonable to assume that Bynum would be the focal point of the offense. Bynum has certain physical talents that just cannot be taught. When you are that big, it is a gift to have good footwork and soft hands.
Would you give him up?
All season long Andrew Bynum has been the subject of trade speculation, particularly as it pertains to Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic. At this point it does not seem like Superman is coming, but there is always the possibility that a deal could still get done. If the deal could get done, should the Lakers do it? On paper, Howard is the more productive player, but he is also in an offense that gives him more opportunities. Howard has certainly been much more durable throughout his career, though many still believe that Bynum might have more "upside."
Either way, Howard probably isn't coming, but it has been good to see Bynum stay healthy for a change. Where would the Lakers be if Bynum were hurt yet again?
The author grew up in Seattle and now lives in Los Angeles, where he waits patiently for the Sonics to return to the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, he roots for the Clippers to become a winning franchise, and perhaps even the most popular team in their own city. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
More from this contributor:
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.