Archive for the 'Andrew Bynum' Category

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Bynum to get Routine Knee Injection

On Friday afternoon in Port St. Lucie Fla., Andrew Bynum will meet with his personal doctor, Dr. David Altchek, to receive a Synvisc injection on his right knee as part of normal and continuing treatment to maintain the knee’s health.

The injection is intended to serve as a lubricant for the knee, providing Bynum with extended relief on an area he said he will protect with a bulky brace for the duration of his career.

After Thursday night’s Lakers loss at Oklahoma City, Bynum boarded a plane along with Kobe Bryant bound for Orlando to take part in his first All-Star game, to which he was elected by fans as a starter. Bynum is scheduled to fulfill his media and charity commitments on Friday, and subsequently go to meet Altchek for the injection.

Bynum will not participate in Saturday’s Western Conference practice run by Thunder coach Scott Brooks, but he is expected to be fine to play in Sunday’s All Star game.

Bynum came into the season the healthiest he’s been in recent years, and has played the best basketball of his career towards averages of 16.3 points and 12.7 rebounds in 34.6 minutes, all career highs, plus 2.0 blocks per game (ranking seventh in the league) on 54.4 percent shooting (ranking fourth). His 21 double-doubles in 30 games ties him with teammate Pau Gasol, trailing only Dwight Howard (27) and Kevin Love (30).

Bynum made only 5-of-15 shots against the Thunder in the team’s fourth game in five nights, but did lead L.A. with 12 boards and two blocks.

Bryant & Bynum: All-Star Starters

Kobe Bryant has now been named a Western Conference All Star starter more times (14) than Phil Jackson has accepted championship rings as a player and a coach (13), and far more times than the rest of his fellow Western All Stars combined (8).

Bryant led all Western players in fan votes, which is nothing new, as he’s been elected a starter in the game every year except for his rookie season (1996-97), and in 1999 when the lockout prevented the game. But for the first time, one of Bryant’s fellow starters will be teammate Andrew Bynum, who led all Western centers in votes.

“I can’t wait to go, it’s going to be exciting, and I’m looking forward to it,” said Bynum. “The fans are pushing you, and it’s not left up to someone else. That’s great.”

In 18 starts after missing the first four games due to a suspension, Bynum has averaged 16.5 points on team-best 54.8 percent shooting, while leading the Lakers with 12.1 rebounds and 1.89 blocks per game in 34.3 minutes a night. He ranks third in the NBA in rebounding, sixth in field goal percentage and 10th in blocks.

“I’m in a good system, I’m getting the ball a lot more, and without (Lamar) Odom here, I’m getting more minutes,” he explained. Yes, Bynum’s minutes are way up. Last season, he played only 27.8 per game, a difference of 6.8 an evening, improving the average for his career to 24.8.

Speaking of minutes played … despite being in his 16th NBA season, and having already played more playoff minutes than any basketball player ever, Bryant ranked second in minutes per game until Tuesday’s blowout win over Charlotte allowed him to sit for the fourth quarter. He now ranks fourth at 38.0 per night behind relative youngsters Kevin Love, Marc Gasol and Monta Ellis.

And he’s making the most of the increased court time. In those 38 minutes, Bryant is leading the NBA in scoring 30.0 points per game, the most he’s posted since 2006-07, along with 6.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists (both his most since 2007-08).

“It’s ridiculous, but obviously, he’s the best player in the game, so he’s going to make it every year,” said Bynum, reflecting on how well Bryant’s playing this season and all of his All Star trips. Indeed, while Bryant expects to be there, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the record with 18 appearances), the first one is always the most special.

“It feels great,” Bynum continued. “I want to continue to progress, and let my game expand. It makes me a lot more confident – definitely feel a lot more confident.”

This will be the first time that Bynum has ever even attended All-Star weekend since entering the league in 2005. In the past, he’s done things as random as gone to an Air Force base, where he looked into the cockpit but decided not to get in since “the eject thing was live.” Fair enough. While we’re not so sure his 7-foot, 285-pound frame would fit in the plane, Bynum said he wouldn’t be too worried about potential danger.

“If you can’t trust the Navy, who can you trust?”

The only remaining question in Los Angeles about the All Star game is whether or not Pau Gasol will make his fourth consecutive trip, and fifth of his career. Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin have claimed the starting forward slots, leaving Gasol — an All-NBA second teamer last season — looking for a vote from the coaches, just like Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki or Tim Duncan, and guys having excellent years LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and Paul Millsap.

Bynum said that there’s absolutely no question that Gasol (16.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.23 blocks) deserves to go, but that L.A.’s win total might make it tough to have three Lakers in the mix.

Either way, there will be two Lakers in the starting line up for the first time since Kobe and Shaquille O’Neal in 2004.

Gasol & Bynum: Low Post Touches

Ever since the Lakers lost to the Celtics in the 2008 Finals, there have been questions and suggestions regarding how much L.A. should get the ball in the post, especially to the Spaniard, who almost literally always has an advantage over opposing fours. According to hoopdata.com, here are Gasol’s average attempted shots from various places on the floor this season compared to last:

2010-11: At rim (4.5); 3-9 feet (4.1); 10-15 feet (2.3); 16-23 feet (2.8); threes (0.0)
2011-12: At rim (3.3); 3-9 feet (2.9); 10-15 feet (2.1); 16-23 feet (3.9); threes (0.6)

This shows us that, clearly, Gasol is getting fewer touches inside, and attempting far more long 2′s, but there’s been a clear reason why: Andrew Bynum.

Bynum last season attempted 4.0 shots at the rim, but is up to 5.4 this season. He attempted 3.0 shots from 3-9 feet, but is up to 5.4 in the first 18 games (and he rarely shoots from outside the paint). Those additional 3.8 field goal attempts per game that Bynum is getting inside have indeed come at the expense of posting Gasol more, but how much this is affecting L.A.’s offensive efficiency isn’t so cut and dry.

This because Bynum converts 72 percent of his shots at the rim, compared to Gasol’s 69.5 percent, but the Spaniard has better touch from 3-9 feet, converting 54.7 percent of those shots, compared to Bynum’s 44.7 percent. How much of a difference can that make on a given game?

There is one obvious difference, however. Gasol’s simply much better than the more classic center Bynum in the high post. Mike Brown touched on this after stating that Gasol is going to get more or less touches in the post depending on the flow of a certain game.

“He can operate (in the post),” said Brown. “(But) he can (also) operate from 15 feet, and he does a great job facilitating just as well as he does scoring. He had 10 assists and zero turnovers (vs. Indiana), which to me equates to a lot of points.”

There are so few NBA players that are as effective as Gasol in either the low post or the high post, but while it’s easy to suggest that L.A. should simply pound the ball to both big men as often as possible, but it’s not as simple as carving out x amount of touches for each per game.

“Everybody including myself should feel like they can do more to help out, offensively and defensively,” concluded Brown. “Right now, losing three games in a row, everybody wants to do more. But we have to understand that wanting to do more just doesn’t mean offensively. We have to want to do more defensively, offensively and some of the intangibles, like getting 50-50 balls and stuff like that.”

All-Star 2012 Second Returns

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NEW YORK, Jan. 19, 2012 – Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls top the Eastern Conference, while Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder lead the Western Conference after the second returns of 2012 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint. Howard, who leads the NBA in rebounding (15.6 rpg), is the overall leader with 1,161,797 votes.

The 2012 NBA All-Star Game, which will air live at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S., and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages, will be played at Amway Center in Orlando on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.

Howard paces centers in the East, followed by the Bulls’ Joakim Noah (141,683). LeBron James of the Miami Heat leads Eastern Conference forwards with 972,580 votes, followed by Carmelo Anthony (779,945) of the New York Knicks. Rose leads Eastern Conference guards with 1,040,210 votes, followed by Miami’s Dwyane Wade (972,015).

Bryant’s 1,110,379 votes leads Western Conference guards, with the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul placing second (835,026). Durant’s 973,152 votes leads forwards in the West, with Blake Griffin of the Clippers next in line with 619,913 votes. The Lakers’ Andrew Bynum paces Western Conference centers with 777,365 votes, followed by the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (214,883).

The NBA All-Star ballot lists 120 players – 60 each from the Eastern and Western conferences – with 24 guards, 24 forwards, and 12 centers from each conference comprising the list. Voters select two guards, two forwards and one center from each conference. The 120 players on the ballot were selected by a panel of media who regularly cover the NBA: Bill Simmons (Grantland), Sekou Smith (NBA.com), Doug Smith (Toronto Star/PBWA), and Ian Thomsen (Sports Illustrated).

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards: Kevin Durant (OKC) 973,152; Blake Griffin (LAC) 619,913; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 354,434; Pau Gasol (LAL) 327,596; Kevin Love (Min) 232,656; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 188,829; Tim Duncan (SA) 133,575; Lamar Odom (Dal) 96,080; Metta World Peace (LAL) 63,055; Danilo Gallinari (Den) 59,646.

Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,110,379; Chris Paul (LAC) 835,026; Ricky Rubio (Min) 248,423; Steve Nash (Pho) 188,537; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 167,996; Kyle Lowry (Hou) 132,972; Monta Ellis (GS) 105,926; Manu Ginobili (SA) 79,821; Jason Kidd (Dal) 79,783; Chauncey Billups (LAC) 73,429.

Centers: Andrew Bynum (LAL) 777,365; DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 214,883; Marc Gasol (Mem) 182,992; Nenê (Den) 144,066; Marcin Gortat (Pho) 92,511; Kendrick Perkins (OKC) 66,380.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards: LeBron James (Mia) 972,580; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 779,945; Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 281,617; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 268,980; Chris Bosh (Mia) 209,640; Luol Deng (Chi) 166,671; Paul Pierce (Bos) 145,077; Carlos Boozer (Chi) 101,612; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 93,456; Hedo Turkoglu (Orl) 80,694.

Guards: Derrick Rose (Chi) 1,040,210; Dwyane Wade (Mia) 972,015; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 394,672; Ray Allen (Bos) 274,233; Deron Williams (NJN) 143,941; Jose Calderon (Tor) 84,881; Richard Hamilton (Chi) 64,757; John Wall (Was) 61,160; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 53,300; Joe Johnson (Atl) 40,718.

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,161,797; Joakim Noah (Chi) 141,683; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 107,735; Joel Anthony (Mia) 67,210; JaVale McGee (Was) 41,249; Al Horford (Atl) 35,860.

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All-Star 2012 First Returns

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NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2012 – Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and LeBron James of the Miami Heat top the Eastern Conference, while Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder lead the Western Conference after the first returns of 2012 NBA All-Star Balloting presented by Sprint. Howard, the Kia Defensive Player of the Year each of the past three seasons, is the overall leader with 754,737 votes.

The 2012 NBA All-Star Game, which will air live at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and ESPN Radio in the U.S., and reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages, will be played at Amway Center in Orlando – on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012.

Howard paces centers in the East, followed by the Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah (75,038). James leads Eastern Conference forwards with 640,789 votes, followed by Carmelo Anthony (496,351) of the New York Knicks. Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls leads Eastern Conference guards with 640,476 votes, followed by Miami’s Dwyane Wade (637,912).

Bryant’s 690,613 votes leads Western Conference guards, with the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul placing second (540,173). Durant’s 633,538 votes lead forwards in the West, with Blake Griffin of the Clippers next in line with 394,264 votes. The Lakers’ Andrew Bynum paces Western Conference centers with 496,597 votes, followed by the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (134,961).

2012 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING PRESENTED BY SPRINT
WESTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards: Kevin Durant (OKC) 633,538; Blake Griffin (LAC) 394,264; Dirk Nowitzki (Dal) 231,832; Pau Gasol (LAL) 185,428; Kevin Love (Min) 143,814; LaMarcus Aldridge (Por) 118,268; Tim Duncan (SA) 81,783; Lamar Odom (Dal) 59,686; Metta World Peace (LAL) 39,006; Danilo Gallinari (Den) 34,438.

Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 690,613; Chris Paul (LAC) 540,173; Ricky Rubio (Min) 133,520; Steve Nash (Pho) 118,922; Russell Westbrook (OKC) 107,197; Kyle Lowry (Hou) 90,725; Monta Ellis (GS) 63,696; Manu Ginobili (SA) 50,765; Jason Kidd (Dal) 49,596; Chauncey Billups (LAC) 42,657.

Centers: Andrew Bynum (LAL) 496,597; DeAndre Jordan (LAC) 134,961; Marc Gasol (Mem) 102,116; Nenê (Den) 94,167; Marcin Gortat (Pho) 62,631; Kendrick Perkins (OKC) 41,579.

2012 NBA ALL-STAR BALLOTING PRESENTED BY SPRINT
EASTERN CONFERENCE

Forwards: LeBron James (Mia) 640,789; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 496,351; Amar’e Stoudemire (NYK) 178,797; Kevin Garnett (Bos) 173,161; Chris Bosh (Mia) 140,601; Paul Pierce (Bos) 94,071; Luol Deng (Chi) 85,086; Andrea Bargnani (Tor) 54,739; Carlos Boozer (Chi) 53,477; Hedo Turkoglu (Orl) 43,154.

Guards: Derrick Rose (Chi) 640,476; Dwyane Wade (Mia) 637,912; Rajon Rondo (Bos) 253,969; Ray Allen (Bos) 174,934; Deron Williams (NJN) 89,128; Jose Calderon (Tor) 42,929; John Wall (Was) 38,025; Richard Hamilton (Chi) 36,418; Kyrie Irving (Cle) 27,713; Joe Johnson (Atl) 23,384.

Centers: Dwight Howard (Orl) 754,737; Joakim Noah (Chi) 75,038; Tyson Chandler (NYK) 61,774; Joel Anthony (Mia) 41,832; JaVale McGee (Was) 24,713; Al Horford (Atl) 23,546.

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Alvin Gentry on Bynum + Gasol

It’s a frequent occurrence to hear NBA coaches discuss how difficult L.A.’s seven-foot tandem of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum make things on the inside when their respective teams draw the Lakers, and Suns head man Alvin Gentry was no exception in advance of Tuesday evening’s contest.

“I think Bynum is probably playing as well as any center in the league right now, when you look at the rebounding, shot blocking and scoring,” he said. “When he’s healthy and playing at this level, it’s a really, really tough matchup.”

Gentry made the comment after acknowledging that his own center, Marcin Gortat (the “Polish Hammer”) has been terrific since coming over in a trade with Orlando last season, agreeing with (this) reporter’s assessment that Gortat is already among the league’s top 10 pivots. Gentry also offered some unsolicited praise of Gasol’s game, relating his comment back to the Spaniard’s partnership with Bynum.

“Everyone knows about Pau … the guy is probably as skill as any big guy that plays the game,” he said. “His footwork is great, he’s a real smart player. When you’re dealing with those two guys down there, rebounding becomes such an issue, and when those two guys by themselves are getting 30 rebounds, it puts a lot of pressure on your front court.”

For the young season, Bynum is averaging 18.8 points, 15.7 rebounds and 1.67 blocks in six games, while Gasol checks in at 16.7 points, 9.3 boards, 2.3 assists and 1.8 blocks in 10 games.

Bynum Set for Blazers

As the Lakers get set for what’s always a tricky road matchup in Portland, take a look at Andrew Bynum’s averages in three games since returning from suspension: 22.7 points, 17.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks on 62% FG’s.

With Portland always circling Lakers games on the home calendar, L.A. has managed to win only four of the last 20 contests in Rip City, including a 2-8 mark in the last 10, even as the Lakers ultimately advanced to three NBA Finals. They did manage a split last season, and could certainly use another dominant post performance from their 24-year-old center on Thursday if they’re to get off on the right foot in 2012.

Bynum credited his fast start to an increased number of touches he’s getting this season in Mike Brown’s system, but his production isn’t a surprise to teammates that have seen him dominate practices, especially since he came into the season fully healthy for the first time in years.

“We all know the amount of talent that he has, and he’s really worked on it,” said Kobe Bryant after Bynum’s first 20-20 effort in Tuesday’s win over Houston. “The thing that I like about him is that he has an engine inside of him and he wants to do well. He wants to dominate. He has ambition to be great. I think that’s the biggest positive about him aside from all of the physical attributes.”

Against a Blazers front line that is quite long if not wide, Bynum will again have a major advantage under the hoop. Marcus Camby and LaMarcus Aldridge get the majority of low post minutes, with Camby starting at center and Aldridge sliding inside once Camby goes to the bench, while veteran Kurt Thomas pitches in off the bench. Camby is listed at 235 pounds, Aldridge 240 and Thomas 230, compared to Bynum’s 285. That’s a significant difference.

Lakers head coach Mike Brown said he expects double-doubles on the regular from Bynum, and even if 20-20 is a bit much to ask for, Brown only expects Bynum to improve as he gets in better game shape.

“He was very productive in the thirty-eight minutes he played,” said Brown, who left his center in longer than any other Laker. “His conditioning is getting a little better and if he can ever get it to a point where it’s great…oh my gosh.”

Generally speaking, Brown has been very pleased with how focused and energetic his team has been at practice, but thinks they’ve been a bit sluggish in games, perhaps due to how much time they’ve spent in the practice gym. As such, Brown gave the team Wednesday off, save for the flight to the Pacific Northwest, hoping that his players will have more energy for Thursday’s tip.

Bynum actually struggled in two games against Portland last season, the Blazers going small to try and keep him off the floor, but Brown does not want to see Bynum play too many less or more minutes than 34.

We’ll see how it plays out starting at 7:30 p.m. on KCAL 9 and 710 ESPN radio.

Bynum Goes Off in First Game Back

The numbers paint a clear picture of just how glad the Lakers were to have Andrew Bynum back from his 4-game suspension to open the season:

- 29 points
- 13-of-18 field goals (72.2 percent) and 3-of-3 free throws
- 13 rebounds
- 2 blocks

But the 24-year-old center’s lurking physical presence in the paint was what had Nuggets coach George Karl talking after L.A.’s 92-89 victory on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles.

“His power around the basket – we haven’t seen it yet,” Karl said. “We’ll have to make some adjustments on him, there’s no question. They hurt us rebounding the ball and they hurt us with Bynum’s power underneath the basket.”

Bynum’s shot chart shows that he rarely ventured out of the lane, in favor of establishing himself as near to the rim as possible, to the point where Denver’s big men had little chance of curtailing his array of short jump hooks, layups and dunks. His new coach, Mike Brown, was able to use one of his favorite terms, “rim running,” to describe the most important of Bynum’s buckets, a layup with 1:52 left in the fourth quarter that put L.A. up 91-89, capping a 7-0 run.

“He’s a big fellow that’s extremely skilled, and he has some athleticism,” Brown began. “If he rim runs like he did on (that) play … that simple basketball play is huge … because if you do that in transition, teams don’t have time to double.

“Big fella is a load to deal with; 29 and 13 is what he’s capable of; he can get numbers like that for us once in a while.”

His efficiency was there last season, as well, but especially with a few more shots available since Lamar Odom skipped town, Bynum’s going to get plenty of opportunities.

“They’re looking for me a lot and I’m a focal point early in the offense and obviously late Kobe takes over,” said the 7-footer. “I was winded like crazy today … it’s only going to be a little bit worse tomorrow because of the altitude, (but) I think I’m going to do well again, coming in, get low, and try to go to work … defensively.”

L.A.’s defense wasn’t quite as good on Saturday as it was in back-to-back blowouts over Utah and New York in which neither team managed to shoot better than 33 percent despite Bynum’s absence, but holding that league’s top scoring team in Denver – who came in averaging 111 points – to 89 is something Brown can expect. Furthermore, his style of pick and roll defense (showing as opposed to downing) drew praise from Karl.

“They’re very good at playing an aggressive style of disrupting and guys coming at you in pick and rolls,” said the Nuggets coach.

That’s what Brown wants to hear. While he’ll certainly take Bynum’s efficient scoring day, he’s most interested in those numbers on the glass, and how hard his big(gest) man is working manning the paint on D.

It’s on that end that Brown wants to continue to see Bynum popping out aggressively to the perimeter and then collapsing back into the paint, starting tomorrow evening in Denver, where L.A. will conclude a rare home-and-away back-to-back.

Tip off is at 5 p.m. on KCAL9 and 710ESPN radio.

Andrew Bynum’s (Healthy) Offseason

For the first time since 2007, Andrew Bynum is heading into an offseason with a clean bill of health.

This is no small victory for Bynum, or for the Lakers, who could consider their 7-foot center’s current medical report the best news going after being unexpectedly swept out of the second round of the playoffs.

In the summers of 2008, 2009 and 2010, Bynum was either recovering from surgery, or about to head under the knife, but as he detailed in his exit interview, the word “rehabilitation” is no longer an essential part of his offseason vocabulary:

It’s going to change greatly how I approach the summer because I’m going to be able to work on my own. I don’t have to go through rehab, I don’t have to sit down for four months … physically I feel great, I have no injuries going into the summer. On that note, I’m definitely looking forward to becoming a better player.

In other words, it’s easier to work on one’s game when exercises can include back-to-the-basket moves instead of impact-free leg lifts in a tub of water.

One caveat: Bynum won’t have a chance to show just how strong and healthy he is until the sixth game of the coming season, due to the five-game suspension levied upon him for his dangerous shove of Mavs guard J.J. Barea in Game 4 of the Western Semi’s. The New Jersey native shared his regret about that play in his previously linked exit interview, but aside from that negative, Bynum was feeling quite good individually due in large part to his healthy-feeling body.

To understand why, we traced his previous four offseasons:

2007: After playing all 82 games in 2006-07, starting 53, Bynum had his last clean bill of health, and was able to do whatever he wanted to prep for 2007-08, when Pau Gasol was still in Memphis.

2008: Just when he began to play the best basketball of his career, Bynum suffered a subluxated patella on 1/13 against Memphis, causing him to miss the remaining 46 regular season games and the entire postseason, in which L.A. ultimately lost to Boston in the Finals. Bynum didn’t actually have the surgery until May 21, as he and the team first wanted to see if he were able to play on it in the postseason. As such, he spent the summer rehabilitating his left knee.

2009: For the second straight season, Bynum hurt a knee against Memphis in January, this time tearing his right MCL on 1/31. He did return for the final four games of the regular season, however, and then played in all 23 playoff games, starting 18, to average 6.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 0.91 bpg in 17.4 min, as L.A. ultimately beat Orlando in the Finals. In his exit interview heading into that offseason, Bynum relayed the difference between his two knee injuries: “Last year I had the surgery and rehab went smooth, this one was a tear and just takes a lot more time. I wanted to make it back, so I took it to the court maybe a little sooner than my trainer wanted me to,” he said. “Even though I didn’t play my best ball, I got to understand the next level. The intensity was (so much higher), it was (great to experience).”

Bynum showed that his knee was not at 100 percent when he elected not to participate in Team USA workouts that summer, focusing instead upon rehabilitation.

2010: After a mostly-health regular season in which Bynum did miss 13 games due to a left Achilles strain suffered on 3/19, he tore part of the lateral meniscus in his right knee in Game 6 of L.A.’s Round 1 victory over Oklahoma City. Opting to play through the pain for the rest of the playoffs, Bynum averaged 8.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg, and 1.57 bpg while playing 24.4 mpg in 23 games, helping L.A. to a second-straight title. He wasn’t quite himself, however, and underwent surgery following a trip to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup that would end up keeping him out of the first part of the following season.

2011: Indeed, surgery to correct the meniscus tear of his right knee ended up being more complicated than originally expected, causing Bynum to miss the first 24 games of the 2010-11 regular season. He also suffered a bone bruise against Boston on 1/31, causing him to miss one game, and a separate bone bruise to his right knee suffered on 4/12 against San Antonio that cause him to miss only the regular season finale. Yet Bynum looked strong throughout the playoffs, averaging postseason bests 14.4 ppg, 9.6 rpg and 1.4 bpg in 32.0 mpg, his best and most healthy individual postseason of his career.

It’s the 23-year-old’s hope that health going into the offseason healthy will allow him to build up the strength of his muscles, particularly those surrounding his knee, to better prevent potential injuries once the 2011-12 season begins.

And so, on a Monday in May, we can imagine Bynum in a gym somewhere shooting jumpers, lifting weights, working on his left-handed hook, or really doing anything other than rehabilitating a knee.

Andrew Bynum: 2010-11 Exit Interview

Andrew Bynum averaged 11.3 points on 57.4 percent shooting, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 54 regular season games, missing the first 24 while recovering from offseason knee surgery. He was the defensive anchor of L.A.’s system, designed to funnel players his way, which worked particularly well in the team’s 17-1 burst out of the All-Star break but faltered in the Western Conference Semi Finals against Dallas.

In the playoffs, Bynum upped his numbers to 14.4 points on 54.3 percent shooting with 9.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 10 games, averaging a double-double in Round 1 and finishing his season healthier than the previous two, with no offseason operations needed.

Below is a summary of his exit interview at the team’s practice facility on Tuesday:

- Bynum opened with a statement to apologize for the Flagrant 2 foul he committed on J.J. Barea in the fourth quarter:

Number one, I want to apologize for my actions at the start of the 4th quarter in Dallas in Game 4. They don’t represent me, my upbringing, this franchise, or any of the Laker fans out there that want to watch us and watch us succeed. Furthermore and more importantly, I want to actually apologize to J.J. Barea for doing that. I’m just glad he wasn’t seriously injured in the event, and all I could say is, I looked at it, it’s terrible and it definitely won’t happen again. I went and I watched it, and it was terrible. Sometimes you just have to man up and own it, and that’s what happened. It’s that simple.

- On he talked about with GM Mitch Kupchak at his exit interview: “We just talked about how I can become a better player. I have some work to do, I have some natural skills, I have some size. Mentally I’m going to go into the summer, prepare and try to add a couple of moves to my game, come back in better shape and being healthy.”

- On his role: “My role on this team was to be a defensive force and get as many rebounds as I can. Defense and rebounds for me are the most important aspect of what I can bring to this team. Offensively for me, this series and throughout the playoffs, I was just being more aggressive, just trying to give us a solid option. I did a decent job at that, but it wasn’t enough.” He added that he’s going to work in the offseason to continue to be a bigger part of the team.

- On trust issues: “I really just think that we weren’t out there all doing it together.” He’d go on to say later that he didn’t think the team was unable to find that cohesion on defense. He didn’t think the defense changed too much, but said the Lakers didn’t adjust as other teams (specifically Dallas) planned for it.

- His goals for offseason: “I want to come back with strong legs, a strong base, some quick moves and how to deal with a double team. I’m going to watch a lot of film … I need to understand how to get the ball out in those situations (through double teams) … Maybe use some cunning, become a smart basketball player (on defense).”

- Finally, important news for Bynum, and the Lakers, that this is the first offseason he’s entering in four seasons without any injuries that need to be attended to: “It’s going to change greatly how I approach the summer because I’m going to be able to work on my own. I don’t have to go through rehab, I don’t have to sit down for four months … physically I feel great, I have no injuries going into the summer. On that note, I’m definitely looking forward to becoming a better player.”