One presumes that
he will hold his ground, too, in the battle for a starting position, if one can
call anything that involves Kwame Brown a battle. Chris Mihm, back from right
ankle surgery that caused him to miss last season, has joined the fray, but
Bynum has more upside to his game.
No matter how
well Bynum plays, though, trade rumors likely will dog him. Indiana's Jermaine
O'Neal has expressed a desire to play in L.A. So have many others--with the
notable exception of Bynum's most important critic, the teammate whose
demanding standards he has to meet.
An opposing team's scout sizes up the Lakers
The only good
thing the Lakers have is Kobe Bryant, and he knows this is another year that he
can't win it all. And that's all he cares about--winning the title. I don't
like his poor supporting cast, and I don't like what his attitude will be as a
result. . . . Their point guard situation is one of the worst in the league.
None of them has a strong personality, no one has blow-by speed, no one can
knock it down, no one is a great on-ball defender. They're all backups. . . .
I've soured on Lamar Odom. He has the body and the tools, but does he have the
heart to win? . . . Luke Walton is a 50-50 player who won't kill you, but he
won't help you win games either. He's a do-nothing-wrong, do-nothing-right
player as far as helping his team win. . . . It will be interesting to see how
Phil Jackson handles things. He's used to being in the NBA Finals and deep in
the playoffs, and with his ego I can't see that he's going to like being in
this position where he has no chance.
For the second
season in a row Kobe Bryant led the NBA in scoring after the All-Star break,
averaging 36.7 points in that time. That's the highest average since the league
began tracking the stat in 1990-91.