- The 7-foot center, who hyperextended his right knee, resulting in a bone bruise in the Lakers’ Tuesday win over San Antonio, missed the team’s final game at Sacramento but practiced fully on Friday. Assistant coach Brian Shaw and Kobe Bryant alternatively said that Bynum looked “normal” and “good,” while Phil Jackson said ‘Drew looked a bit loose at the start, but fine as practice continued.
Bynum weighed in himself, saying that he was “fine” and had “no limitations” but was merely excited to get the first game started. Good news for the Lakers, certainly, after what initially looked like a potentially serious injury.
IN SHORT: Bynum will start Game 1.
- Barnes did not practice on Friday after sitting out the team’s final two regular season games. Barnes missed 26 games from Jan. 7 (incidentally against the Hornets) to March 4 while recovering from a surgical procedure to repair torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. Barnes has been experiencing soreness this week, but a Wednesday MRI revealed no structural damage.
IN SHORT: Barnes is listed as “probable” for Game 1 and is expected to play.
- Blake came down with the chicken pox earlier in the week and continues to have the “indefinitely” tag upon him as far as when he might return. Jackson revealed that he drove over to Blake’s house to drop off some video shown to the rest of the team, and described his backup point guard as “speckled.”
IN SHORT: Blake is definitely out for Game 1.