Andrew Bynum's Place on the Marquee

Only in dreams can these Lakers screw up a plum roster, a legendary coach, and maybe the surest path to a top seed in the past four, five years. Not since the Lakers of 2001-02 has a team looked so unstoppable on paper. (You could make an argument for the 2003-04 Lakers, though many rightfully doubted the impact of the Payton and Malone acquisitions.) With a core that just ripped through the Western Conference playoffs before bowing out against a sterling defensive juggernaut, the current Lakers are heavy conference favorites. Adding to that core a complete man-child hitting his physical stride, a cat who'd be the best player on about 12 NBA rosters ... this team's potential for devastation is immeasurable. The only dudes who can screw it up are the dudes themselves.

Lamar Odom already bristled at the suggestion he'd come off the bench in a prospective altered line-up amid Andrew Bynum's return. Instead, Phil Jackson set up Odom as the offensive initiator, a point guard in gazelle's clothing. As a form of discipline but amid reports Bynum and Pau Gasol have been incompatible as a duo, Young Drew came off the bench for two preseason games. I wonder what his completely matured and enlightened opinion will be. Get us an answer, Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register (via TrueHoop).

Bynum ... oozed petulance when asked by a TV reporter late Thursday night if he liked coming off the bench. He slowly rolled his eyes and then said: "Not at all."

Fourteen Western Conference fan bases are absolutely loving this. You're doing it right, Drew. Make your money. You should be starting. You should be starting and taking 20 shots a night.

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