When, Exactly, Is Bynum Returning This Season?

by March 10, 2008

by Marcel Mutoni

That’s the question on every Laker fan’s mind these days. And perhaps, the question should be: Should the Lakers bring Andrew Bynum back this season?

For what it’s worth, unless he’s absolutely 100% ready to roll, I’m of the opinion that he should sit out the rest of the year, and return next season with a vengeance.

And don’t get me wrong: As a Laker fan, I want to win a title as badly as anyone, but hopefully the pressure to get a ring this season won’t overshadow what’s really important: Andrew’s long-term health (and the team’s future.)

The reality of the matter, though, is that he’s probably returning to the court sometime next month, and he’ll have very little time to get himself adjusted to a radically different team from the one he left in mid-January.

“That’s still perhaps a month away, maybe, whatever,” Phil Jackson said when asked about the team adapting to Bynum’s return.”

“When we put him on the court, it’s going to be in relief to start with. He’s going to come off the bench and play a secondary role, probably, to start with. And then as he gets a couple games where it looks like he can sustain the effort and his conditioning improves, then we’ll work on how it fits together. Now, if this is in the playoffs, it’s almost impossible to do that because you don’t want to break up the chemistry. It’s going to be handled just the right way.”

Phil is often called the best coach doing it; here’s his chance to remind us again why that is so.