This season’s saga involving Andrew Bynum has unfolded like Samuel Becket’s ‘Waiting For Godot’ with Gasol and Odom cast as Estragon and Vladimir. The waiting ends tonight (probably) as Bynum is set to make his season debut. A quarter of the way through the schedule, it’s been a grueling exercise evaluating both the Lakers as a team and several of its players as individuals when one of L.A.’s most powerful forces remains absent. Seven weeks into the season, it felt like Bynum would never show up. Gasol and Odom owners alike have likely built out nifty leads for themselves (or at least kept from digging holes) with their unexpected production. Gasol has put up MVP-type numbers (until his hammy reminded him how many minutes he’s been averaging) and Odom has been a top 30 player that most people chose sometime after their 70th pick. And it’s been nice. And it’s been fun. But where the eff is Godot already!?! I’ve wasted two days near this tree! All this first quarter fun has come with the wait ’til Bynum returns caveat. Especially for Odom, who owners are suddenly treating like he’s got a face full of boils. Those are pimples, guys. Relax. He averaged 10/8/2.5 in 27 minutes as a reserve last season and Bynum wasn’t on a time limit as he’ll likely be this season. And Gasol? He’s likely to drop from 39 mpg to 37. Negligible. Maybe he averages a 1.5 fewer points and 1.5 fewer rebounds. If it keeps him healthy, you’ll slurp it up with a ladle. Too much has been made about Bynum’s fragile health for Phil Jackson to run him out there 40 minutes a night. It’s never happened before, it’s certainly not going to happen now. He’ll play 25 minutes in the beginning with a chance to average 32 after a while. Tops. Odom will average about 31 minutes instead of 35 and 14.5/8.5/3, just about what I envision Bynum producing (13.5/8/2). Barnes, Artest, Walton and the like are the ones whose minutes will see the largest dip. And if Bynum just can’t stay healthy? Well, we’ve waited this long, what’s another 60 games?
Danny Granger – It’s December so you knew a Danny Granger injury was comin’ up. He’s got a minor ankle sprain. He can jog, but doesn’t feel as confident chucking up a rushed jump shot from 25 feet out with no one under the basket as he normally does. He’ll probably feel more confident doing that in Wednesday’s game against the Lakers.
Darren Collison – He’s distributed one or fewer assists in three of his last five games. I’m not jumping ship on him yet, but I’ve located the nearest life vest, and eyeballed the small child whom I plan to knock over in order to steal his spot on the dingy.
Tyreke Evans – He made the road trip and might not miss any time with his arch injury after all. Whaaa!?! You mean neither the Kings organization nor Tyreke’s brother have any clue what’s going on? The hell you say!
Marco Bellinelli – Went 1-for-7 behind the arc. Threejerk!
Chris Paul – Shot 3-for-10 from the field. He missed New Orleans Shitshot Day by about 29 hours.
Chris Bosh – The Chris-mass keeps on a-rollin’ as Bosh dropped a 23/11 line with three blocks. Now replicate that five games in a row and we’ll be square. /looks at last five box scores\ Oh. You have. Never mind. Or, nevermind, for the Nirvana fans.
Carlos Boozer – 11, 3, 10, 6, 18. These are Boozer’s rebound totals in his last five games. Wanna guess what Joakim Noah‘s rebound totals look like? Here’s a hint: Last night, while Boozer grabbed 18, Noah grabbed five. Boozer is the inny to Noah’s outie.
Nicolas Batum – Missed two shots, which would be cool if he played 36 minutes and attempted 15, but he didn’t. He played fewer than nine and, um, shot the ball twice. Nicolas Batum, please stop punching my team in the nards.
Jason Kidd – 11/7/10 with a trio of steals. Yup. I successfully reverse-jinxed Jason Kidd’s season. On a completely unrelated note: Nicolas Batum is done-zo.
Keyon Dooling – Played 27 minutes and scored 16 points. Which is awesome, because I was just thinking, “You know what Milwaukee needs? Another dude playing 27 minutes who’ll score just enough points to convince me to roster him and let him micturate on my team for a week!”
C.J. Miles – 20/6/2 in 28 minutes. He’s scored 20+ points in three of his last five. He scored a combined 18 points in the other two, but that kind of outlook just makes you seem pessimistic.
Reggie Williams – 19/5/6 with a pair of steals and four threes. You knew this was coming. Hopefully you jumped on it, Tonto.