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Old 06-19-2008, 10:51 AM   #62
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I said several months back when Bynum got hurt that the Lakers would not win a title without him. They needed him to be the tough post presence that Gasol does not bring to the table.

The funny thing to me is how much the media is hyping the Lakers as a dynasty of the future because of Bynum. But the thing of it is this kid has had two pretty major knee operations in the past year and we don't know how he is going to come back. How much is this going to set back his development and will he ever regain the explosiveness that had him looking like the league's most improved player this season prior to getting hurt? Is he going to continue looking like the next Shaq or is he just going to turn into another Felton Spencer or Micheal Olowakandi because his bum knee limits his mobility and explosiveness?

It can get pretty dicey when a guy pushing 270/280 starts suffering knee injuries. Fortunately for Portland Greg Oden is only in the 250 range so he is not carrying as much weight as Bynum is.

Portland could be another team to add to the list to keep an eye on for next season depending on how Oden fares. Recent reports have him ahead of schedule and looking as he ever has prior to the surgery. The latest report I saw said that barring any setbacks he feels confident Oden will be ready to play in exhibition games next fall. If Oden turns out to be the real deal and Portland figures out who their PG is going to be they could be a force to reckoned with next year as well.

I would put Phoenix in the list of teams to keep an eye on simply because Terry Porter did not exactly set the league on fire when he coached the Bucks and it remains to be seen how Shaq is going to fit into the equation. We all know if he doesn't like playing for someone he tends to shut it down.
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