Fox Sports: The Los Angeles Lakers head into the 2008-09 season with far greater expectations than they did a year ago at this time.
Flashback to October of 2008 and all of the talk back then was about whether or not Kobe Bryant was going to get traded.
The midseason trade for Pau Gasol had a lot to do with their deep playoff run and the raised expectations for this season. But even before Mitch Kupchak fleeced Memphis, the Lakers had shown the potential to finish in the top half of the conference thanks to the development of young center Andrew Bynum.
Bynum’s statistics last season weren’t eye-popping — 13.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg and 2.1 bpg — but if you take into account that he wasn’t a starter for the first 10 games, then you can get an idea of Bynum’s value once he became a starter.
Despite having started only 25 games, Bynum still managed to finish with 18 double-doubles, only three fewer than Shaq had in 61 games.