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Andrew Bynum's career has always seemed to be like a Tomb Raider puzzle that can only be cracked by taking one step forward and two steps back. It seems like every time Bynum makes progress, he follows it with regression.
Remember the 07/08 season? That was Bynum's third year in the league and he was starting to come into his own. He averaged a double double that season, with 13.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Add in his 2.1 blocks and .636 field goal percentage and it was clear, Bynum was becoming a force. Do you remember how Bynum ended that season? Bynum dislocated his left kneecap as he landed awkwardly on Lamar Odom's foot while going for a rebound. The Lakers were 26-11 at that point due to Bynum's awesome breakout year. Just two weeks later the Lakers pulled off the trade for Pau Gasol. Pau was great, but the lack of Bynum's physical presence cost the Lakers a championship against the Boston Celtics.
With that in mind, guess what happened in 08/09? In a game that I attended, Bynum set his career high with 42 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 blocks against the Clippers. Bynum looked great and well on his way to becoming the breakout star that he showed glimpses of the previous season. But of course it didn't last. Once again, almost exactly a year later and against the same opponent, Bynum sprained his right knee as Kobe fell into him while going for a layup. It was later confirmed that he tore his ACL. Bynum came back late in the season, but he was never the same. Pau Gasol came up huge in the finals as he was able to check Dwight Howard. The Lakers won the championship, but Bynum only played 17 minutes a game during that postseason.