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Behind Enemy Lines: Los Angeles Lakers

Check out posts about the Laker bench and the Lakers' strong side zone scheme below if you haven't seen them yet. One final preview now, this time with some more responses from Kurt at Forum Blue and Gold.

At the Hive: What's your take on Andrew Bynum's contract?

Forum Blue and Gold: It's fair. Bynum's agent made noise of wanting a max deal, but he is not that guy right now, not coming off such a major injury. But, 7-foot, shot blocking, rebounding, nice offensive game guys are not easy to find — he needed to be paid. It works out to three years, $14 million per, with the Lakers having a $16 million option for a fourth year. He gets good money — not Kobe money, not even Gasol money, but he is not quite there yet. And the Lakers get some relief in case last year's injury was not a fluke or lingers (although it doesn't look like that is the case).

My guess, in four years the negotiations are a lot simpler, because it will be a well-deserved max deal.

@tH: Why isn't Jordan Farmar starting over Derek Fisher (I mean, shouldn't he be?)?

FBaG: Two reasons. One, Phil Jackson loves him some veterans.

Second, Farmar is a perfect fit for the second unit. The Lakers starters play at an average pace, but like a pitcher that has a good slider than breaks out a 90+ mph fastball, the Lakers bench changes the pace.

Farmar is key to pushing that pace, he plays a fearless game at a speed that can be on the edge of a ragged pace. But Lamar Odom thrives in that (as does Trevor Ariza, who you should be watching as he has been one of the best Lakers this season). Derek Fisher would drag this lineup down, Farmar is a perfect fit. So for now, the Lakers go with the change of pace. Next season, that may change.

@tH: Who are three teams you anticipate will give the Lakers the most problems this season, and why?

FBaG: First and foremost, Lakers fans (and the team and owner, according to comments) want the Celtics again. Don't take that personally, Hornets fans, but when you get punched like the team did in the Finals, you want to fight back. Plus, they're the Celtics, we've hated them since the 50s.

In the West, the Hornets are the team that scares me the most right now. You have a good team, one that is getting better, and with the addition of Posey addressed a key area of weakness. I think you match up with us better than anyone.

Maybe the Rockets, but they have to figure out how to play together. Maybe the Spurs if they got healthy. The Jazz certainly are going to be very good, but they don't match up terribly well with the Lakers.

Thanks to Kurt for his time and answers.