This is my personal opinion but I think Andrew Bynum getting injured is no longer an option for the Lakers. Everyone claims our front court is our strongest weapon, but we have yet to fully use it, especially in the playoffs. Our championship grit and experience along with Kobe Bryant's and Pau Gasol's offensive skills, Ron Artest's defense, Derek Fisher's intangibles, Lamar Odom's inconsistent flashes of brilliance, and Adam Morrison's enthusiastic cheer-leading have been enough to carry us through this year's playoffs, but I think that those might not be enough anymore. Other teams are constantly reloading after each season and targeting the Lakers; each summer they are trying to design their teams not just to get better but also specifically to dethrone the Lakers. It's part of the reason why winning consecutive championships are so difficult. Our talent and experience will help, but unless we somehow get better as well (or find a way to de-age our best players), the Lakers will fall. Unfortunately, we don't have cap space and we're deep in luxury tax land, so a quick fix via free agency isn't really an option. And while I'm excited for Ebanks and Caracter, even Mitch won't be able to find steals in the draft each year.
SO...the point is...the one sure way we CAN get better is for Bynum to begin stepping it up. Despite his amazing potential, Bynum has been injured for three important seasons now: he missed the 2008 Finals, he was a small factor in the 2009 Finals, he was an important factor but we still could have used more from him in the 2010 Finals.
Especially with the Heat on the rise, we'll need Bynum to exploit their weakness at the center position.
The sky is not falling and won't be until the Lakers lose in the playoffs, but if Bynum doesn't live up to his potential, we might not know the sky fell until it's too late. And Ammo won't be there to save us =P.