Andrew Bynum is not only back, but he is starting, and in 21 minutes he looked great. Sure he looked tired running back on defense, but once he is back into game shape, the Lakers will not be stopped.
The Lakers looked really, really good tonight. In fact, at times, they looked great beating down the Nuggets 116-102. Pau and Kobe looked amazing, and the bench was very efficient. Kobe, Pau, and Bynum combined for 78 points. Keep in mind, this was against a team on an eight game winning streak, the second seed in the West, and a team that many of the talking heads at ESPN have fallen in love with in the past few weeks.
In other words, the Lakers are going to win the championship this year, if the team we saw today is the same team that takes the floor in June. I do think the Lakers can win it all this year without Bynum, but it would be A LOT more difficult. The Lakers look so big and athletic on defense, and their offense will never be shut down for four out of seven games in a playoff series.
The Lakers have looked a bit sluggish at times during the past month, but hey, they just won their 63rd game of the season. I think they have been a bit bored with the regular season. Tonight though, they showed that when they are facing an elite opponent, they can lock down and look pretty much invincible. They are 2-0 against the Cavs, 2-0 against the Celtics, 4-0 against the Rockets, 3-1 against the Hornets, 3-1 against the Nuggets, and 2-1 against the Spurs (including that last second foul by D-Fish to give the Spurs that one victory, 112-111). The Lakers are 0-2 against the Magic, however, I don’t think that 1) the Magic can get out of the East, and 2) the Lakers would have home court and way more experience should the Magic and Lakers meet in the Finals. In conclusion, the Lakers, barring anymore injuries, are bringing Los Angeles another championship.