SleepersJanuary 19, 2008

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Sleeper Watch

By Jonathan Huang

A collective gasp was let out by Lakers fans and fantasy owners when Andrew Bynum injured his left knee going up for a rebound against the Grizzlies. To see this new franchise (?) center of the Lakers go down with a severe knee injury was the last thing we wanted to see in an otherwise quite successful season for the young man. He is now out for a minimum of eight weeks, and is not expected to be back until the end of March. Now for fantasy owners, we can’t wait that long so our natural response is to go pick up his backup, but in this case… he doesn’t exactly have one.

Buttery-handed Kwame Brown isn’t the answer to a now severely weakened Laker front line, and that doesn’t help things. There isn’t an easy answer to losing Andrew Bynum, however, Ronny Turiaf may be the man to at least hold down the fort while Bynum is out.

Turiaf is the Lakers’ shot of energy off the bench, and he’s as juiced while he’s on the bench or when he’s on the floor. To give just a glimpse of what he was like, on January 14th against the Supersonics, he put up a line of 14 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 blocked shots in only 18 minutes! The numbers are not extraordinary, yet his impact was immense even with the minimal time on the floor. Now, with Bynum out, it won’t be hard for him to get extended minutes due to Kwame Brown’s frequent incompetence.

So whether you are a Laker fan or a Bynum fantasy owner, look to Turiaf to pick up some of the slack.

Jonathan is an aspiring NBA writer who also happens to dominate his fantasy leagues. You can find Jonathan posting in the Cafe forums as baller_crimson.
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Andrew Bynum by Arlo Vander (posted on 06/30/2005 in Sleepers)
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