Sometimes Andrew Bynum is the future of the franchise, dragging a defender or two on the way to a roaring dunk.
And sometimes he's that 7-foot kid who only recently exited his teenage years.
He played the part of the latter Friday against Boston, ending a string of solid outings with a four-point, four-foul misery of an evening. On top of it, Celtics center Kendrick Perkins scored a career-high 21 points, ditching both Bynum and a reputation as a defense-minded player.
"Everything went wrong for Andrew," Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said.
Bynum had been on somewhat of a roll, averaging 14.8 points and 10 rebounds in his previous four games, but he called his experience against Boston a "shame" and "terrible."
"I don't know what was going on for me," he said. "I wasn't going to the basket strong like before."
Bynum was also in and out of foul trouble.
"Two of them were terrible," he said of the calls. "One time . . . I just got done talking to the official. I was like, 'What can I do to not get the foul?' He was like, 'Well, if you're in the restricted area [near the basket] and jump straight up, it's not a foul.' I did it the next play, and the guy who told me that blew the whistle. So I was like, 'I guess I can't do anything to avoid those.'
"I've definitely got to stay out of foul trouble. I played 27 minutes and just never got in a rhythm out there."
Of course, with Bynum, there's always that one huge factor in his favor -- time.
"I'm only 20 years old," he said. "I can't say that I know everything."
Kobe Bryant has averaged 18.5 points the last two games while making 12 of 34 shots (35.3%).
"He's not shot the ball well recently," Jackson said. "It has to do with legs. He's talking about some knee things probably going on."
Bryant has been bothered by knee tendinitis since training camp.
New acquisition Trevor Ariza still hasn't played for the Lakers, although Jackson doesn't necessarily blame a lack of knowledge of the triangle offense.
"You don't have to be a genius to play basketball," Jackson said. "This isn't rocket science."
Just the same, Ariza hasn't had a chance to practice with the team. He arrived Wednesday on a game day, there was no practice on Thanksgiving, there was another game Friday, and the team did not practice Saturday because of a lengthy flight home from Boston.
vs. New Jersey, 6:30, FSN West
Site -- Staples Center.
Radio -- 570, 1330.
Records -- Lakers 7-5, Nets 6-7.
Record vs. Nets (2006-07) -- 2-0.
Update -- Nets forward Richard Jefferson is in the early stages of a breakthrough season, averaging 24.9 points. Nets guard Jason Kidd is close to averaging a triple-double: 11.2 points, 10.2 assists and a team-high 8.5 rebounds.