When Bynum went down we told ourselves, as long as he’s back for playoffs we will be fine.

Which was understandable and perfectly logical at the time, we needed Bynum to compete with the elite teams. But we didn’t know how good we would become without him in the lineup.

Fact is, this team is currently healthy and ready to go, to win a NBA championship. It should be considered a failure, if we do not win the Gold.

Having Bynum and Ariza back 100% would almost not be fair, too good to be true. Can you imagine?

The lineup we have been talking about since the trade. Andrew Bynum at Center, Pau Gasol at PF, and Lamar Odom at the small forward position.

Then we round of the starting 5 with the veteran savvy, Derek Fisher, and then at the 2 spot will be the best player in the league, the M.V.P. Kobe Bryant.

Heck of a lineup, to me the obvious favorite to go all the way. Excluding Fisher, four players that could be the go to guy on a lot of teams. Give another year for Bynum, and have Odom be this consistent for 82 games. We might have four All-Stars come next February.

Last time that happened Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Kobe, and Shaq. But this foursome would be even better.

Most likely, we will have to wait till next season to see this impressive lineup. But fact is, we don’t need Bynum or Ariza. Let them heal for next year so we can challenge our back-to-back.

Now again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves as Kobe always says, “We take it one game at a time,” but can you fathom winning the NBA championship, not even at full strength, then come back next year better than ever?

That’s too far into the future, but right now with the Kobe – Gasol duo, and how deep our bench is, we talk, walk, and act like champions.

I haven’t seen our guys this confident since the championship years with Shaq, this team looks destined, I can already see some of these sound clips ending up on those Sports Illustrated Championship DVD’s.

Some may be mad; some might say I’m looking too far ahead. But all I’m saying is this team looks like it’s ready to be crowned. Has all the pieces, has the coach, has the MVP, and has the experience to go all the way.

I never would of thought I would say this but we really don’t need Bynum or Ariza back, sure it would be nice, but I think with this current team were almost selfish to rush back a future All-Star.

So yes, Im saying it, we don’t need Bynum. We have two All-Stars, the best third option, and have the deepest team in the league.

Not to mention a coach with 9 Championship rings. I can feel it, this feels like our year, it’s our time!

We’ve followed because we believed, since Game 5 against the Suns last year, we all came together and knew this wasn’t okay for our Los Angeles Lakers to be bounced in the first round with little talent to compete.

So we followed, and then fell when Kobe demanded out, but somehow kept following knowing this Laker team would go back to what it’s known for, competing for NBA titles.

Were back, what takes other franchises decades to re-build, were back, and look like we have a great shot at winning a NBA title.

I said it earlier in the year, and I’ll say it again; I totally plan on driving down to Figueroa street in June,

Yes, that means I would be at a Lakers Championship parade.

And yes that obviously means that the Lakers would be 2008 NBA Champs.

There I said it… again!

David Brickley is a TLN Staff contributor, you can contact David at DBricks33@GMail.com, also check his work out at MySpace.com/TheDavidBrickleyShow.

  • RD

    save him for next year? maybe its the funny cigarettes from 420? WE NEED BYNUM! whats gonna happen when we play san antonio, boston, or detroit? we dont have that inside DEFENSIVE presence that bynum gives us. pau plays decent d, but to go all the way with teams like san antonio, boston, and detroit, we NEED a DEFENSIVE inside presence! bring back bynum in the confrence finals!

  • e

    [Comment ID #33879 Will Be Quoted Here]
    i think we can handle detroit and san antonio…celtics im afraid of but even then, if we play an amazing backcourt game we can still get something going

  • David

    [Comment ID #33879 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Agreed, but don’t forget Ariza. He’s an excellent on the ball defender to guard guys like Ginobili.

  • xtro

    Nope. We need him and Ariza as we go deeper into the playoffs.

  • http://ld2k.com LD2k

    I look at it like this:

    We can get to the Finals WITHOUT Bynum…

    If we want to beat BOSTON & BOSTON ONLY, we’ll need Bynum.

  • DCLAKER

    We as Fans have to stop thinking ‘selfishly and negatively’.

    Selfishly because….. well,it’s simple we’re not the one’s who are injured,HE IS. Look at how he went down,we knew he would be out for a good long while as the reports just totally confused us all,he may be back next week….2 weeks….month….playoffs….F!@$ IT!Save him for next season.

    I don’t like it as much as the rest of LAKERNATION but the reality is HE’S ONLY 20 with a whole lot of promise with the Lakers(AND CHAMPIONSHIPS TO WIN).So I say save’em for next season ’cause when they get JO or Pietrus(who wanna bet?),WHO’S GONNA BEAT US.

    PARTY’SINLA.com,for the next 4 to 5 years if you ask me.

  • daboss1848

    “Fact is, this team is currently healthy and ready to go, to win a NBA championship. It should be considered a failure, if we do not win the Gold.”

    certainly sounds like opinion to me . . . (a bad one at that)

    have u heard of a certain team in the weaker conference who wears putrid green colors, believes in leprechauns, and has been tearing up the league defensively all year?

    LD2K beat me to it – agreed!

  • ICE CREAM MAN

    If we can go all the way into the finals then and “Leak” news that Bynum will not play till next year, this way Boston will prepare the game plan without Bynum in the lineup. Then on game day play Bynum and possibly take the home court from them. This will no doubt mess with there heads and off we go to another parade in L.A.

  • ab4sure

    Dbricks you provided a jinx by guaranteeing a championship in that other article. It looks like you are trying to ensure the jinx by writing this article. First of all, lets end the debate on Bynum… If he is able to play…HE PLAYS… If he is not able to play then …. HE SITS.. Forget just shelving him instead just wait and see… Frankly the problem with Lakernation is they can’t wait and see… Remember when at least 90% wanted to ship Bynum out… Wait and See… and yes we do need Bynum in particularly against Boston with their great Defensive team. Those who think we don’t need Bynum and we do face Boston… Might want to cancel their reservations on Figueora st.. Staples Center because it might get lonely there or your other option is to hope KG gets hurt.

    Since your gauranteeing this title here is a little challenge for you Dbricks.. If the Lakers win the title we will all Hail you as the NOSTRADOMUS OR THE NOSTRABRICKDOMUS…. IF They don’t win you can change your name to DBUNKS. What do you say???

  • Luis24

    Bynum now!!! When he gets that ring he can rest for 3months, Kobe is not getting younger!!!! All he needs to do is clog up the lane, that’s it. Break Celts dreams this year!!!!

  • Michael_23

    If the Lakers win it all this year:

    If I were Bynum, I’d be thinking, hey the Lakers won a championship with me. Am I trade bait? Also, he’d be wondering all summer long if he would be any good to the Lakers if he came back for the playoffs.

    There would be a lot of questions for the media and Bynum to wonder about all summer.

  • west213

    no bynum, no champs, boston’s gonna murder us. we need bynum.

    bi tchhhhh

  • zgum

    we need bynum to win the championship… at least off the bench…
    we need his presence and defense…

  • kaynam24

    U MUST B CRAZY IF U THINK LAKERS CAN GO ALL DA WAY W/ EASE W/ THEIR LINE UP… REMEMBER WHEN BOSTON KILLED US BOTH GAMES… THEY PLAY CRAZY ASS DEFENSE N WE NEED BYNUM N PAU TO CLOG DA PAINT TOGETHER N STOP GARNETT

  • Short Diezel

    We NEED THEM.. BUT ONLY if they are healthy and won’t jeopordize their future with the Lakers..

    Their future with the Lakers is far too bright to bring them back if health wise they aren’t ready..

    But we definitely need Bynum’s defensive presence and rebounding.. and Ariza’s defensive tenacity

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    yes u are crazy
    we play great offense, but wout bynum our defense is weak!
    we aint winning wout bynum
    Celtics for sure, but be aware also of jazz, that will be more rested than us
    bynum better play soon!
    ariza too
    we need everyone, no doubts

  • DingleBerry

    If bynum had signed that 5 yr 75 mil contract extention already i bet he would be playing already. until he gets that big extenion this summer he will not be back. to much to risk… its sad but true…

  • EuropeLaker

    We need Bynum ASAP. We need Bynum to beat the Celtics (and even the Suns) if we reach the NBA Finals, as well as Ariza, who can really add a very valuable defensive and physical weapon to this championship-caliber team. We are giving up 111 ppg in playoffs and we can´t really protect our basket, but we all know Denver might be the best offensive team in the league along with Lakers and Suns.

  • Lakr4Life

    Both Ariza and Bynum should take their time to heal because when they are at full strength we are challenging that 72-10 record the bulls posted in the 90′s and if everyone stays healthy we’ll win multiple championships. But whoever thinks we can win an NBA title this year without Bynum is on crack or out of their freakin’ minds to say the least. If Bynum doesn’t come back at all this postseason we don’t win the title. If Bynum heals properly and comes back at 100% again we will win multiple titles in the coming years so let’s hope for a full recovery and look forward to a very bright future ahead. It’s easy for us as Laker fans to get carried away but anyone who watches the games and understands basketball knows that w/o Bynum we might not even get out of the western conference.

  • varsityoptimism

    pompous, pretentious, and presumptuous.

    temper yourself.

    making bold statements like this with no factual basis or simple logic are insulting not only to the readership, who are being led blindly by you, but to you yourself. Insulting because you have no access or discretion.

    The team will play their games, and that is that. Nothing more and nothing less. If the Los Angeles Lakers lose, it is not because they were missing Andrew or Trevor or because they did or did not make some goofy ass trade. It will be because the other team had players and coaches too.

  • DCLAKER

    Y’all have to calm down,remember…WE HAVE PAU!PAU!PAU!and how soon we have forgotten LO playing off-the-charts lately(since Pau joined)but I will say STOP THINKING ABOUT BOSTON SO MUCH,F#$% THEM!We have the Nuggets in Denver for 2 more games,FOCUS MAN!

    Bynum going to be a Laker for a good long while…..and HELL NO TO BYNUM GETTING TRADED BECAUSE OF HIS INJURY,NOT HAPPENIN’!He’s 20 and a MONSTA OF A TALENT and “The King of LA”(MITCH) WOULDN’T DREAM OF PISSING KOBE OFF AGAIN.

  • http://www.lakers.com kobe24MVP

    i hope the Wizards go to the finals

    LAKERS WIZARDS NBA FINALS

    wat a break!LOL

  • LA_dreamz

    hey guyz!without any doubt.we will be the NBA CHAMPION this year if we’ll continue to play with this intensity both in defense and in offense evry game.we don’t need to force the issue on BYNUM and ARIZA coz we need them more if they’re both 100% healthy.whatever happend this playoffs is more than enough of our expectations before this season.we never had any idea that we’ll achieve this far this season,right guyz?so,we have to really appreciate all the things that our team has done throughout this season.we have to be patient and pray that we’ll get the CHAMPIONSHIP RING this year.next season is without a doubt a championship year for us with our powerhouse team ready for battle next season.
    GO ALL THE WAY TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP RING.

  • kobe

    it will be stupid to rest them if they are healthy….i mean u never kno wat next yr will be like…..

  • LA_dreamz

    We’ll have a very solid team next season with our present team composition.we’ll just hope that mbenga will develop into a defendable back-up center this coming post season and return next season as our next most improve player and will be a very strong back-up to andrew bynum.i know jabbar can also do that to mbenga the way he did to andrew.we just need to get a youthful talented pointer as our prospect in anticipation for fishers retirement and we’ll be just fine.

  • DMX

    This article should be called “Save Bynum ’til next season” not Year.lol

  • Jloyola

    1st Team
    PG – D Fish
    SG – MVP
    SF – Rad Man
    PF – Odom
    C – Gasol

    2nd Team

    PG – Farmar
    SG – The Machine
    Sf – Luke
    Pf – Turiaf
    C – Bynum

    Situational Players

    Ariza
    Mihm
    Mbenga
    Newble
    KobY

    Our 1st Team is one of the best in the league (debatable) but which team has a 2nd Unit as good as the Lakers??

    Without Bynum = Championship Contenders
    with Bynum – Champions!!!!

  • http://swishtheball.net Billy Kupchak

    mihm never played up to expectations because of all the times he came back frm his injury to early. remember in 2006, some time late febto early march he got injured against the sonics. then in mid april he came back byrisk to injure i even more, and now his career over, well we especially dont want that to happen to drew

  • kiwest

    radman in the starting 5 that is retarted I would way rather have ariza. and what bynum is not starting!? this will be starting five fisher, kobe, odom, gasol, bynum! bench: farmar, da machine, ariza ( or luke) radmanovic and turiaf.

  • kiwest

    also bynbum should play now as soon as possible. who is the idiot that even sugested saving him? he should play as soon as he is ready. just because denver has been so easy( expect them to play better at home) doesnt mean the other rounds are gonna be easy to. the next 3 rounds are gonna be brutal: utah, spurs (maybe phoenix not new orleans), detroit or boston. I believe the lakers are the favorites but it is not gonna be a piece of cake especially without bynum.

  • Realistic Laker Fan

    This is the type of article that screams out “BIAS.” It honestly makes Lakers fans look stupid. I don’t know if you’ve read the lakers defensive numbers as of late, but I’ll tell you one thing:they’re not great. The Lakers rely on their potent offense to win games, and though that’ll work well in the regular season (i.e. SUNS) we all know that defense wins championships. The MAIN concern with the lakers is the fact that their interior defense is weak. And their perimeter, though their perimeter rotations are looking better as of late. Look, we’re giving up 100 points a game to denver. They averaged about 85 ppg last year vs the spurs. Fact is, we lack the defensive ability of champs. There’s no denying it. I love the Lakers but I’m not stupid enough to envision a championship without the defensive adjustments that need to take place. Right now, I’d place our chances of “winning it all” at about 20%. We’re going to have to get through the Spurs and the Celtics, two teams that have shown the ability to shut an opposing team down at will. We need a guy that enters the post and provides the shot-blocking presence that strikes fear in opposing players. Bynum is that answer, and its stupid to have such a high level of confidence in the Lakers, especially with the record-setting competition that has become the Western Conference this year.

  • Gelo

    If we don’t need Bynum now then why not ship his ass out and save money on extending him. We can extend Odom instead and a few more role players.

    What’s the point of keeping Bynum when this team is good enough to win now and in the next 4 or 5 years.

    NO. We need Bynum now and we need to bring him in to the fold so he feels like he’s part of the team and he feels he can contribute to a championship. How do you think he’ll feel if the Lakers win a championship without him? I’ll tell you what He’ll feel, he’ll feel that he needs to be elsewhere where he can be the focal point of the team. Where he can get more touches and dominate.

    Get him back in the line up in the playoffs. We need to show that the Lakers really need him and want him.

    Also, now way the Laker gonna beat Boston. The defensive player of the year, one of the best 3 point shooters ever and one of the most dominant small fowards ever. Lakers don’t have enough without Bynum and Ariza.

  • dem0n

    IMO Coach Phil is holding the key (Andrew) to the Lakers pandora box and that box will open up at the final western conference getting ready to match up with the eastern team.

  • http://www.myspace.com/dbricks DBricks

    Ok ok ok…ive enjoyed reading the comments, both the good and the bad, the good thing is im getting you guys thinking and heres the deal. As a diehard fan I do not want to rush Bynum back, which i dont think anybody wants to do at this point. We saw what happened to Amare a couple of years ago, he came back to early and look what happened. One of things could happen, those of you saying we’ll take bynum back at 80-90%, First he could re-injure the same injury which would be very bad, or he will overcompensate, by not trusting his knee and then hurt an opposite ankle,knee etc. If Bynum is 100% and back to normal then of course i want him back, but I also think it is idiotic to lose all hope if he doesn’t return. This team won the Western conference in the most competitive conference arguably EVER in NBA history alll without Bynum, and With Gasol what are we now? 24-5 with Pau Gasol, none of which Bynum played in. So we still have a legit shot to win the NBA title. Those of you that think that we have no shot to win the title unless Bynum comes back, haven’t been watching these Lakers elevate themselves to the best team in the best conference in NBA history!

  • iLakers

    [Comment ID #33930 Will Be Quoted Here]

    great point.

    why do you think Kobe played with his pinky all messed up…because the time is now, not tomorrow or next season, its now.

    We are playing for the 2008 ship…

    Kobe knows it…i don’t think Bynum does, otherwise he’d be on the court with a knee brace.

  • artpolo5

    Save bynum for next year? u kidding? that boy better be back by the western conference finals or playoff finals. We need more defense with teams like San Antonio and Boston. Plus western conference finals or playoff finals are weeks away. He should be perfectly fine by then. How long does a knee sublexation take? honestly?

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    bynum better come back also at 90%
    that little bitch!
    we wanna win now!

  • Keep Odom

    This subject is the hardest to talk about as a Laker fan.

    We have to be honest with ourselves and be realistic and most importantly not let our obsession with winning another title get in the way of being realistic.

    No matter how much we pout and get upset we have to accept that Bynum might not be back.

    I do believe 100% that the Lakers will win a championship. But! If we dont, I would still consider this year a success and I can guarantee! that next year and the years after we will win 3-4 or more titles. But, here is the question. Is it worth risking the years ahead by playing Bynum and hoping that he doesn’t worsen his injury? Not to me it’s not. I want to be competitive for years to come. Realisticly speaking.

  • mplakers

    you know after all those accolades heaped upon phoenix and dallas while the lakers were somewhat down, they failed to win a championship.

    it took an ex laker(shaq) and a lakers western conference rival instead (spurs).

    those two teams, the mavs and the suns, are what i call espn manufactured teams. “they’re decent, so let’s promote them as the greatest since muhhamad ali, while the real moneymakers (lakers) are down.” lebron also falls into that category. even he, himself, says kobe is the best but, they still promote him as the chosen one.

    maybe they’re right. lebron is the chosen one. the chosen one to replace kobe when kobe retires.

  • Berger

    Lamar can guard KG, Lamar can guard Amare, Lamar can guard David West, But can he guard duncacn or kurt thomas? That I dont know. I know we did kill the spurs a couple of weeks ago with our current lineup tho

  • DCLAKER

    All Laker Haterz need to read DBRICKS comments.

  • pr0mega

    Quit talking about David West, Tim Duncan and Amare. We are STILL in the first round and you all are talking about future MAYBE match-ups. What about these Nuggets? We still have to play in Denver. What if we do win, what about the Utah Jazz? If we get too far ahead of ourselves and then fall short, I can see every one of you saying things like

    TRADE ODOM!!!
    SIGN ARTEST OR B.DAVIS!!!
    GET RID OF EVERYONE!!!

    Like Kobe says, take it one game at a time, live in the now.

  • Laaffiliation024

    what’s a ‘Bynum’? that word rings no bells

  • Michael_23

    Looking at the first 2 games of their playoffs, New Orleans and San Antonio are crazy. They look so hard to beat. Yes we want Bynum but we also NEED Ariza to guard the likes of Ginobli and Tony Parker.

    We need em to guard Chris Paul.

    Bynum to guard Duncan and slam on Alberto.

  • Geloman

    Man let’s stop all this talk already. Bynum will play when HE feels 100% ready, both physically and mentally. HE himself still feels unsure of his knee and HE himself said it still feels unstable. I’m sure he wants to get back out there just as much if not more than all us Laker fans. Until he’s cleared and HE feels ready, we go on without him and focus on the other players that are there battling. Let’s just leave Drew alone already.

  • as1084

    man we should really sweep the thuggets so we have more rest than utah..utah has been forced to play a 5th game at least since they lost last night.

  • DCLAKER

    I wanna say…..I GOTTA LOTTA RESPECT FOR LAKERNATION!

    Let’s get 3 on Sat.

  • JerryWest

    Absolute ridiculousness. If the Lakers are to have any chance against a team like the Boston Celtics they will have to be sporting a healthy Bynum.

    Weak article, basically.

  • http://lakers.com Billy Kupchak

    [Comment ID #33893 Will Be Quoted here]
    we have gotten a good enough starting 5 to win 72 games, now we need to improve the bench
    new bench possibilities for 2008-09
    jermaine o’neal
    elton brend
    corey magette
    jason williams
    gerald green
    monta ellis
    mickael pietris

  • RD

    mitch kupchak said he’s NOT gonna be looking for any big name free agents. i think we should just re-sign all of our free agents, get rid of coby, mbenga, mihm, newble, and maybe luke. and if mitch changes his mind, sign MONTA ELLIS and JERMAINE ONEAL!!!! we can probably get them for cheap if we win the title!

    08-09 roster

    C – BYNUM / JO
    PF – PAU / TURIAF
    SF – LO / RADMAN / ARIZA
    SG – KOBE / SASHA
    PG – MONTA ELLIS / DFISH / FARMAR

  • http://swishtheball.net Billy Kupchak

    [Comment ID #34028 Will Be Quoted Here]that seems like a good idea

  • http://www.swissreplica-j12.com frank muller

    Great work! I also have my own blog I just find it hard to write quality content like this.
    I guess I really don’t have the time.