Lakers/T’Wolves: Lakers Win, Bynum Banged Up

Darius Soriano —  March 19, 2010

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The big story from this game was the fact that in the middle of the ‘Wolves third quarter run (more on that later) Andrew Bynum jumped for a rebound, was a bit stiff after he landed, and left the game not to return.  Reportedly, he has a strained left achilles tendon and will be reevaluated tomorrow.  Obviously, we all hope for the best with this latest set back for big ‘Drew as he was once again starting to turn the corner with his play, even earning praise from Phil Jackson before the game for his improved play, conditioning, and better health of late.  A “strain” is not typically a major injury (though, I’m no doctor), and I would hope that he’s day to day.  But with a game on Sunday and then a pretty important road trip coming up the Lakers can ill afford for ‘Drew to miss too much (if any) time.  I’d happily take a missed game on Sunday for a healthy ‘Drew on the upcoming roadie.  We’ll update the site as we get more info.  Now, back to the recap.

The Lakers won.  The end.

Oh, you want more than that?  Well then, the Lakers played the type of game we’ve come to expect from them when they play a team like Minnesota.  When the Lakers don’t feel threatened in a game or feel like they can’t really lose to a team, they let their guard down.  They let lesser opponents hang around and stay within striking distance, because in the end their talent will win out.  And that is exactly what happened tonight.

The game started with Kobe in a passing mode as he racked up 7 assists in the first quarter and 9 total in the first half (he’d finish the game with a season high 13).  He passed willingly and created easy buckets for his teammates – feeding Pau and Bynum for dunks and layups, hitting Ron for open jumpers, and feeding Fisher for…never mind.  One play in particular that stood out was a classic “showtime” fast break with Farmar and Kobe running a two on one with Kobe eventually making a wrap around pass to a trailing Gasol who proceeded put Darko on a poster.  This game was looking like a rout in the making as Minny showed that they are in fact not very good and the Lakers talent was obviously several levels above.  A ten point half time lead only seemed like the beginning.

But in all to familiar fashion, the Lakers gave back the lead in the third quarter.  They relaxed on defense, didn’t care to even try to execute on offense, and watched as the ‘Wolves took a two point lead.  Time out Phil Jackson.  What then proceeded is what you’d expect when the defending champs face one of the worst teams in the league.  The Lakers picked up their defense, Minnesota committed several bad turnovers in a row, and the Lakers closed the third quarter on a 12-0 run that recaptured their ten point halftime lead.  And in the fourth quarter, the Lakers would do just enough to keep their lead in the seven to ten range and would make the plays that they needed to when they needed in order to pull out the win.

A perfectly uninspiring game on a Friday night in Los Angeles against one of the worst teams in the league.  If this game wasn’t pretty much a guaranteed win before the game started, I might feel different about this one.  What with the mid game struggles, Fisher not making a single shot in six tries, and the Lakers not rebounding on the defensive glass the way they needed to. But in a contest where Kobe was attempting behind the back passes with the same frequency that he normally shoots fade away jumpers and Odom taking (and making) more three pointers in a single game than he’s taken in his past seven games combined, I’ll take the results and move on. I mean, this was a game that was pretty lifeless for most of the contest with little to no excitement and not much action to keep the crowd into the game. I think the presence of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes caused more of a stir than any thing that went on during the game, save for (maybe) the aforementioned Pau dunk on Darko. So, ring up win number 51 and lets get ready for the Wizards on Sunday. And for now, think happy thoughts for Drew and enjoy the college hoops on tomorrow.

Darius Soriano

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27 responses to Lakers/T’Wolves: Lakers Win, Bynum Banged Up

  1. I looked up at the score and the Wolves were within 3, I could not believe it at the time. This is just what the Lakers do in games like this, let the other team back in, even if they are a bad team. As far as Bynum, he needs to get back to 100% for the Playoffs, even if we have to drop a chunk of games without him in the regular season, so that he can heal that tendon.

  2. Hey! Don’t forget we clinched making the playoffs today.

  3. The Prophet, Kevin Ding:

    Written Wednesday: “Many skeptics are waiting for Bynum to undermine the team by suffering another injury.”

    Hey, Kev… For your next column, could you write something like, “Many fans are hoping the Lakers will go undefeated in the playoffs”? You know, since you’re seemingly calling the future here?

    Jokes aside, let’s hope the injury isn’t anything that will impede Bynum’s play come the postseason.

    I think the thing that drives me the most crazy about his bad luck is that for the past three seasons his injuries have always come at the point in time when he’s put his game together and been playing his best ball of the season. It’s like a sick joke. But the only people laughing are fans of other teams.

  4. Dang, even I was starting to like Bynum’s game lately. That is just….. a frustrating setback. Even if he plays, since it is his achilles, he is going to be Timid. And thats the Drew we had during the 3 game losing streak…

  5. Chris J,

    That’s the same thought that went through my head. He only gets injured when he’s playing his best ball. Hopefully he recovers soon.. and when he comes back he picks up where he left off… Can’t afford for him to be timid during the playoffs.

  6. Sorry to be the guy who sprinkles in with a dose of realism… But when there is. “Pop and burning sensation” 9 times out of 10 that’s a tear. Bynum will most likely be out for a year and will never be the same player again. Tearing an Achilles is like tearing an ACL. You never fully recover. Ask Elton Brand. This is just such a shame. Its a small tragedy in a world filled with them. Get better big guy… We all feel for you. Not to be cold… But now we have to hope we don’t play the Hawks in the Finals cause we won’t have a chance against a team with a true Center.

  7. …Sorry… Now we hope we play the hawks in the finals….

  8. Aaron,

    Way to be positive big guy

  9. @ aaron:
    david beckham just recently tore his achilles during a game. He wasnt able to stand or walk because the pain was to severe. I dont know where you take your facts about 9 out of 10 or whatever, but in andrews case your comment is just useless. It is not torn laker fans, relax

    by the way: loved how darko played tonight. If he could keep that up, he could be a great pickup for the wolves

  10. Warren Wee Lim March 20, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I am not particularly upset with Aaron’s statement. I think knowing whats possibly the worst prepares us for the best.

    Call me a sadist but part of me wanted this to happen. Aside from Fish and Pau’s minor injuries, I think we will be just fine WITH or WITHOUT Drew.

    Then again, I’m just being negative so I can expect the best. Get well big guy…

  11. according to the box score, the Ls were out-scored in the paint 58-36 – how is that even possible??

  12. Bynum will be ok will be back in 2 weeks. Had a sprain achilles ice and rest do wonders. Aaron you don’t have a clue what you are talking about . Stop being so negative,

  13. Aaron, 9 times out of 10 when this happens your achilles tendon is torn. (5:05 in is where I make my point but go ahead and enjoy as much Tarantino magic as you’d like.) Now just be glad that Drew’s nickname isn’t Buck and he’s not here to… Well watch and you’ll get the point.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AHPdKJb0A0

  14. aaron, when you say –
    But when there is. “Pop and burning sensation” 9 times out of 10 that’s a tear.

    where are you quoting from?
    if you’re making that up, then that’s a real drag my man. shouldn’t be saying stuff like that unless you got it from a reliable source.

  15. How about we wait until we hear what the doctors say? You know, the people that actually examine ‘Drew, run the tests, and then give their diagnosis? Yeah, those people.

    By my understanding, after the game Phil said that he anticipated being without Bynum for “a while”. However, I don’t know what “a while” means and Phil’s also not a doctor. For all I know he’s reacting to how Bynum said he felt and also probably thinking about the other times that Andrew’s been injured and the timeline of recovery for those ailments. Like I said, we should know more soon and then we can look at how it affects the team.

  16. Sprains and dings are a way of life for professional athletes. Hopefully this is just an ice, treatment and rest thing.

    I have said it before, and I will say it again, Aaron is the nom de web of Smush Parker… That is the only explanation.

    Bynum has been playing very well all year, and especially well the last handful of games. He is starting to get it as a professional. Sadly, big men get hurt all the time. I am hopeful that he will learn to rest when it is time to rest, heal when it is time to heal, and then forget all about that when it is time to step on the court.

  17. >Sadly, big men get hurt all the time.

    and, unfortunately, some moreso than others.

  18. Major concern regarding Drew with the Strained Left Achilles Heel injury. MAJOR. Those injuries, depending on how severe, tend to linger on. Especially for a big man. Hopefully, after he’s re-evaluated 2day, we can receive some good news. Good sign was that he was able 2 walk off of the court under his own power, with a slight limp. Still n all, bad timing, considering the fact that we’re ’bout to go on a critical road trip after Sunday’s game. DAMN. Get well Drew, but pls, take your time. The ‘offs/June is where we need u most.

  19. There are two things that can derail a champion from repeating; internal turmoil and injuries. This has been one hell of a roller coaster ride since Trevor left town. With Kobe’s myriad of injuries, to LO and his “reality” marriage, to Rambis heading for Minny, to our discontent with the point guard situation, to our bigs not getting enough touches, and now Bynum’s “pop.” When will all of the drama stop?

    Hopefully there’s a silver lining to this unusual season. It rings very familiar to 1986 when we thought we upgraded with Mo Lucas and let Jamaal Wilkes walk. I know we’re loaded with talent, but honestly, weren’t we all expecting much more? Are our expectations that skewed that we can’t enjoy what we already have? Or are we being realistic and can see the deadly flaws in this team?

    Regardless, I hope Drew’s diagnosis is only a minor setback and that all of these distractions will make this group of Lakers stronger and more focused as a team. I haven’t lost any faith, just a lot of sleep…

  20. I hate to be the barer or bad realism… But the odds are bynum tore his Achilles. And that’s like tearing an ACL. You are never the same. Let’s hope for a miracle.

  21. How is that realism, Aaron? Everyone who has torn an Achilles is pretty certain they tore it at the moment it happened. It’s not just a “pop and burning sensation”- there’s no ambiguity about it- it hurts like hell. As mentioned already- Beckham couldn’t even walk after it. Imagine how much more weight Bynum would have to put on it.

    You know, you are far and away the most overwhelmingly negative poster here…it’s always “sky is falling” with you. Lighten up. Bynum will be fine. And if you are right, oh well. People have been complaining for some time that Bynum gets his at the expense of Pau, so I guess we’ll see if there’s something to that.

  22. Didnt Joe Johnson strain his achilles recently?

  23. If Bynum is out for a significant amount of time, I guess Ole Ron will have to step up and become more involved offensively. As long as #17 can come back and play defense, catching Clevebron for HCA is looking bleak, LO, Gasol, and Powell will be able to hold it down in the middle until he returns.

  24. Thank god (Vitti)!!!! I just read on the oc register that bynum has no tear in his Achilles. We are still going to win the championship !

  25. http://www.twitter.com/kevinding

    no rupture yay, miss atleast 6 games :(

  26. That Aaron is a regular Nostradamus, isn’t he?