When Andrew Bynum last week threw out a date of Thanksgiving for his return to practice with the Los Angeles Lakers, it didn't seem realistic. After all, as he recovers from knee surgery, Bynum will likely need a week or two of conditioning before even returning to practice, let alone game play. As it stands now, it appears that prediction was more false hope than anything, as Bynum likely won't practice until next week at the earliest.
Bynum will undergo an MRI Tuesday, and will still need a week or two of conditioning before he can return to practice. The Lakers, at 12-2, are taking it slow with Bynum, wanting to make sure they don't rush him. Bynum is on board with the slow approach, writes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
"My career is still young and I want to be able to play as many years as possible," he said. "That's why I want to take my time and come back. I don't want to go out too early and then have to start all over again. Hopefully I'll come back and be in really great shape and have my body feeling well so I can go out there and stay out there."
Without Bynum in the middle, the Lakers are 11th in the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing an average of 105.8 points per 100 possessions. But they have more than made up for it with their offense, atop the league in both scoring (112.5) and offensive efficiency (117.6 points per 100 possessions). Last season, the Lakers were fourth in the league in defensive efficiency, allowing 103.7 points per 100 possessions).
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