There was some question as to how Andrew Bynum’s knee felt after L.A.’s 119-109 victory in Game 2 of its first round series with Utah, and whether or not he was dealing with some pain caused by his much-talked-about knee. After Thursday’s shootaround in Salt Lake City, however, Bynum attributed the soreness elsewhere.
“The soreness has a lot to do with the brace,” he said. “I have to wear it because the ligaments are still healing, but at the same time it kind of changes my mechanics a little bit.”
Phil Jackson, after Wednesday’s practice, said that it wasn’t so much knee pain but fatigue behind Bynum’s struggles after a fantastic 5-for-5 start in Game 2, and Bynum admitted that he grew “a little bit tired” later in the game.
Yet heading into Game 3, Bynum said he’s feeling just fine.
“I’m feeling good, I’m ready to go,” said the young center. “It’s a late game for us tonight so I got my trainer here, we’re going to do a little workout and then hit the court.”
The good news for L.A. is that no matter how long Bynum sustains his success, they won’t be lacking for other productive bigs, not with Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom both playing at such a high level. That three-big combination will certainly be crucial to L.A.’s chances at winning in Salt Lake City, particularly with center Mehmet Okur set to miss his third straight game for Utah and because the Lakers can’t expect to stay as red hot from three.
As the second of TNT’s double header, the game won’t tip until 8:30 p.m. local time, meaning the Lakers and Jazz have an extra hour to wait until we all see how Bynum and his purple and gold teammates really feel.