Monday, January 14, 2008

Bynum to miss 8 weeks with injury

Bad news for all Andrew Bynum owners - he suffered an injured left knee in last night's game against the Grizzlies. He suffered a subluxation of his left kneecap and a bone bruise...for those of you who don't know,

"A subluxation occurs when the kneecap is pulled toward the outside of the knee".

Ouch! The good news is he won't need surgery; the bad news is he's expected to be out about 8 weeks, which places his return in the middle of March - with only about a month left in the season.

Fantasy impact - Well, it obviously hurts all Bynum owners out there. He began the season as an unproven, talented enigma...and he's emerged as one of the best up-and-coming centers in the league this season, and a very pleasant surprise. In January he was averaging over 17 PPG, more than 12 Reb, 2.7 Ast, 2.3 Blk, and shooting an insane 70% from the field & 74% from the line...good stuff.

In the short term, the Lakers will now likely start Kwame Brown again at center, not someone I'd recommend you go out and grab off the waiver wire. Chris Mihm would be a good option if he were healthy, but as it stands, he'll probably be out for at least another few weeks (and will be rusty when he returns).

If the Lakers want to go smaller & more athletic, they also have the option of putting Ronny Turiaf at center, a high energy guy who I like. In 10 starts this season, Turiaf has averaged 9.6 PPG, 4.8 Reb, 1.8 Ast, 1.5 Blk, while shooting 56% from the field & 77% from the line (in only 25 minutes / game). Solid numbers given the minutes played. If he finds his way into the starting lineup, he'd be someone I'd certainly consider in deeper leagues. Monitor his playing time, because he might even get a majority share of the time at center, even if he's not in the starting lineup.

Looking outside the Lakers lineup for center help, Darko Milicic might be available in some leagues. He's had a disappointing season so far, but he'll certainly provide some blocks, while having the potential to put up solid point & rebound numbers. I see his worst case scenario @ 5 PPG, 5 Reb, 1.3 Blk; while his best case scenario is somewhere around 13 PPG, 9 Reb, 2.5 Blk. Don't forget, in 7 November games this season, he put up averages of 11 PPG, 8 Reb, and 2 the potential is there.

UPDATE (1/15) - In the first game PB (Post-Bynum), the players discussed above put up the following lines:

Kwame Brown - 38 Min, 10 Pts, 10 Reb, 4 PF
Ronny Turiaf - 18 Min, 14 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Blk, 8-9 FT, 6 PF

This doesn't change anything mentioned above, but I'd like to see what Turiaf can do if he stays out of foul trouble & plays 30 or so minutes per game. Energy & upside, a good combination...

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