Archive for the 'Andrew Bynum' Category

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Bynum Hyperextends Right Knee

With 8:11 left in the second quarter of L.A.’s Tuesday evening game against San Antonio, Andrew Bynum slipped on the foot of DeJuan Blair and hyperextended the right knee he had surgically repaired in the offseason.

Bynum stayed on the ground holding his knee for about 30 seconds before slowly getting up under his own power and walking off the floor directly into the locker room.

The young center did not return to the game and would not accompany the team to Sacramento for Wednesday’s game, instead staying in Los Angeles to undergo an MRI, the results of which would surely be of high interest around Lakers and NBA circles.

Bynum missed the first 24 games of the season, but since the All-Star break, was averaging 11.5 points on 60.5 percent shooting with 12.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks, anchoring L.A.’s defense. As the season wore on, Bynum had regained much of the explosion in his legs that when coupled with his touch and sheer size made him a dominant center, helping key the team’s 17-1 record out of the break.

Bynum’s teammates Steve Blake (chicken pox) and Matt Barnes (knee) would also not travel to Sacramento, leaving L.A. with only nine healthy bodies.

Silver Lining in Bynum’s Suspension?

Following Monday’s practice, Phil Jackson revealed a silver lining in the two-game suspension of Andrew Bynum:

He knows it’s to his advantage at some level to have an opportunity to work on his leg strength and get some things done that perhaps game-by-game where he had to go on and play rather than stop and do some strengthening things and things that can help his game out. I think in the long run, it might help him.

Emotionally, Jackson said, was another story.

“Emotionally it’s hard to take, being away from the team. He was here this morning, obviously but at game time he can’t be at the arena, so that’s difficult. Especially watching a (close) game like (Sunday) night. He’s frustrated.”

Lakers Without Bynum for Blazers, Suns

In coming two games against the smallish Portland Trail Blazers (Sunday) and Phoenix Suns (Tuesday), L.A.’s biggest player will not be on the court.

Center Andrew Bynum was suspended for two games for committing a flagrant two foul against Minnesota’s Michael Beasley halfway through the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Wolves. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak fielded the call from the NBA, and relayed the suspension to Bynum and Phil Jackson.

“I thought two games was excessive, but who knows,” said Jackson after the team’s Sunday shootaround.

The Lakers, of course, have a lot of experience playing with Pau Gasol at the five and Lamar Odom at the four, positions Jackson said they’ll be comfortable playing in Bynum’s absence. Odom will spend some time on the perimeter as well.

Assistant coach Chuck Person said the Lakers will likely have Ron Artest guard Portland’s Gerald Wallace, whom the Blazers have been starting at power forward in a small line up of late, with LaMarcus Aldridge playing in the post. Portland thus brings center Marcus Camby off the bench, who may have started were Bynum in the line up for Los Angeles. Bynum was quiet in his lone game against Portland on Feb. 23, scoring six points with four boards, though his defensive presence was key in deterring action around the rim.

Phoenix starts shooting big man Channing Frye and the four and Robin Lopez at the five, though backup Marcin Gortat gets the majority of minutes inside. Bynum appeared in only one of L.A.’s three games against Phoenix this season, scoring 14 points with seven boards in a Jan. 5 road victory, and was out (knee) during a home loss in November and road win in October.

Could having a few days without games at least help Bynum rest his usually sore knees?

“We’ll put a spin on it that it’s a positive for us,” concluded Jackson.

Bynum Big Since Break

Our Practice Report from Thursday dealt primarily with L.A.’s excellent defense since the All-Star break, detailing how the Purple and Gold had reeled off five straight wins — now six after Friday’s win over Charlotte — while holding opponents below the 40 percent shooting mark in four of six games.

While general activity level, overall length and an understanding of the system have all contributed at a time where L.A.’s offense has been nowhere near as good, it’s fair to single out the individual contributions of Andrew Bynum.

Phil Jackson, not one to offer effusive praise after regular season wins, has identified Bynum’s effort since a poor final three games leading into the break. Jackson and his staff have been quite pleased with Bynum’s focus on the defensive end and on the glass, which Friday produced season-highs on the boards (17) and block shots (six).

Talk to Bynum, and it’s clear he’s gotten Jackson’s message.

“I just think it’s also being mindful on the defensive end, really sticking to the system and trying to do what the coaches ask,” he said. “You can’t be worried about statistics all the time, you just have to go put energy into doing the right things.”

Bynum acknowledged that he is feeling better from a physical standpoint after taking some time to build up strength since returning from offseason knee surgery that kept him out of the team’s first 24 games. Getting his own shot has been of little concern to Bynum, who’s taking less than four field goals and about four free throws per game to average 11.0 points on 57.5 percent shooting. Meanwhile, he’s averaging 10.7 boards per game, getting into double digits four times, and is blocking three shots per game.

“Team defense is what we’re focused on,” said Bynum. “Even though our offense has struggled at times, we know that we can score the basketball. We’ve done that in the past and it’s there to draw from. But defensively, the thing that puts you over the top to win championships is the ability to stop teams from scoring, get three or four stops in a row and then capitalize on it.

“We know we have Kobe (Bryant) and Pau (Gasol) who can get hot at any time and increase the lead, so we know we just have to get stops to help them out.”

“I think he’s being aggressive,” said Gasol. “I think he was upset about the way he played before the All-Star break, especially at Cleveland, so he’s come back extremely strong and very active. I’d like to see him keep that aggressiveness up, blocking shots and rebounding … it’s been excellent. If he can keep that up, he’s helping us in a big way.”

With two championship rings to prove it, Bynum’s aware of how he in particular can affect games on the defensive end due to his sheer size.

“I can make a huge impact,” he acknowledged. “I want to stop teams from getting easy buckets, and that’s what this league is about. If you can stop a team from getting easy layups, run outs and things like that and keep them in a half court offense, you’d be surprised how many teams struggle to score.”

Note: Sunday’s game tips off at 12:30 p.m. on ABC and 710 ESPN radio.

Bynum Expected to Play vs Spurs

UCLA Health SystemThe Lakers are listing Andrew Bynum as “probable” for their Thursday evening showdown against the San Antonio Spurs.

Bynum, who suffered a bone bruise to his left knee against the Celtics on Sunday and missed Tuesday’s game against Houston, is expected to play.

Assistant coach Chuck Person said in our LakersTV scouting report that Bynum’s size is particularly important against Tim Duncan and the Spurs.

“Having ‘Drew in there makes all the difference in the world for us because of his ability on the defensive end with the rebounding, shot blocking and sheer manpower of enforcing the middle,” said Person. “On the offensive end, he can keep Duncan busy so Duncan can’t roam around and help out all over the floor.”

Bynum Out Tuesday with Bone Bruise

Lakers center Andrew Bynum will not play in Tuesday night’s game against Houston due to a bone bruise on his left knee that was revealed in an MRI.

Bynum, who missed the first 24 games of the season while recovering from offseason knee surgery on his right knee, is listed as day-to-day.

His playing status for future games is yet to be determined.

Bynum’s Second T Rescinded

Lakers confirm that the NBA rescinded Andrew Bynum’s second technical foul from last night.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

Bynum, Odom Swap Works At First

To Phil Jackson, L.A.’s formula for success en route to the past two championships is pretty simple.

“The force of our team is the length and the strength of our big guys,” he said after Thursday’s practice, a day after the team’s 103-88 victory in New Orleans. “Kobe (Bryant) drives the team, he has the energy for the team, but still it’s about making the defense have to look over their shoulders and help each other out inside, and then we can attack other places.”

That’s certainly what the Lakers have done in the past, and what they were able to do perhaps for the first time this season with 7-foot center Andrew Bynum returning to the starting line up after missing the first 24 games while recovering from offseason knee surgery and coming off the bench in the team’s past seven games.

He’d played an average of 17 minutes as the Lakers won four straight on the road against weaker opponents and then lost three straight, but on Wednesday in the Big Easy, Bynum was effective from the opening tip en route to 18 points with six rebounds in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Lamar Odom — whom Jackson said has played at an All-Star level all season — willingly returned to the bench, then showed how little of a problem it was for him by scoring his career-high off the pine with 24 points.

“We knew we were going to have to make this move eventually, getting ‘Drew out there on the floor, and it was going to take a little bit of an experimental stage,” said Jackson. “Fortunately we came through with flying colors, but I thought it would be much more clumsy than it happened to be. We were able to do what we wanted to get done out there and shoot the ball well, too, so we’re happy with that.

“We know it’s going to take a little bit of time before we’re the full-fledged team that we think represents the championship teams that we’ve had.”

Perhaps so, but even with Bynum a few weeks away (in his estimation) of being fully ready to go, the Lakers looked like … well, the Lakers’ title teams in his first time playing regular minutes. The 23-year-old came through the game just fine, without any swelling, and will start against Philadelphia on Friday at Staples Center.

Bynum said that Odom’s been instrumental to his return, as L.A.’s most gregarious player has taken particular care to keep Bynum’s spirits up during his rehabilitation, telling him his starting spot was waiting as soon as he was ready. In New Orleans, Odom stood up to cheer on the bench when Bynum threw down his first alley-oop, then made 10-of-15 shots after checking in.

“He’s shooting 58 percent, and that’s one of the top shooters in the league,” said Jackson of Odom. “I think he’s very confident in what he can do out there on the floor. He knows what his game is, and he’s very comfortable assessing the game. He’s hungry for team play and he likes to help the team along.”

As for his willingness to return to the bench, a rarity for someone averaging 15.8 points and 9.8 rebounds?

“That’s the difference in championship teams,” explained Jackson. “We said it two years ago and last year, the difference is that you can guys that you can bring off the bench that are starters. In Lamar’s case, we have even an All-Star (willing to do it).”

Andrew Bynum Post-New Orleans Quotes

Lakers center Andrew Bynum started his first game of the season at New Orleans on Wednesday night to quite a positive effect, as he scored a season-high 18 points in 30 minutes while grabbing six boards in a 103-88 victory. He answered questions after the game to discuss the contest, how his knee felt and what he thinks his return to the starting line up does for the Lakers:

On what moving back to the starting line up did and why it happened:
Bynum: I’ve been consciously trying to play well. I think that’s what you need to do, put that out in the universe and stay focused, and it comes back (to you). I put the work in at practice, and I think (Phil Jackson) just wanted to start me today because of the matchup with (Emeka) Okafor. That moved Pau to David West, and they really have a problem guarding two seven footers out there, so we could really attack this team with our length and that’s what we tried to do.

On if his two early dunks helped him build confidence mentally:
Bynum: Yes and no. I know that I still have some explosiveness to get back, some athleticism to get back. It’s just unfortunate that inside the season it’s tough to train off the court when you’re trying to get back. It’ll come in time, and I’ll be back to jumping (normally).

On being aggressive near the rim and establishing position:
Bynum: I’ve been working with (assistant coach) Chuck (Person) in that regard, trying to make sure that every single time the ball is opposite and my guy takes his eyes off me I really try to post up deep in the lane so I can be effective. If you lose a step or something like that you have to put yourself in spots to be effective, and I think that’s what I’m kind of doing.

On if starting makes a big difference:
Bynum: No, not really. I pretty much know, I’ve been (in the league) for six years. I know where I can be effective on the court, and how to get there. The only thing is doing it and staying healthy. I’m on my way back to being 100 percent. I’m going to just feel more comfortable out there on the block and play with my teammates. Obviously the first unit, they understand how to get me the ball, with Fish (Derek Fisher) and Kobe (Bryant).

On being called in by New Orleans to shoot two free throws after Matt Barnes was ejected:
Bynum: Oh yeah, that was crazy. I guess (Hornets Coach Monty Williams) watched the San Antonio game so he kinda figured that I couldn’t shoot ‘em. I was able to go out there and knock two down so hopefully I can build on that.

On his very positive relationship with Lamar Odom, who returned to the bench:
Bynum: He keeps everything light, man, that’s the best thing about him. He’s just a great guy, he’s funny as heck, and he understands the dynamic of the team. He understands that when he’s out there with the second unit he takes control of the game, and he’s able to do whatever he wants to do. It’s a fast break offense with that second unit, and he’s able to captain it and take hold of it. Basically, I think we just have two different ways of attacking and it makes us that much more effective. We come in one way and attack with length and power, and then the other way we come in with speed an finesse, and it just confuses teams a little bit.

On if there were a return to normalcy with the starting line up back from the playoffs:
Bynum: I think me just being a part of the rotation just kinda helps our team, just gives us that dual dynamic where we can switch up the flow in the game. I think that’s the biggest thing it does, and then it cuts guys’ minutes down. Being a part of the rotation helps, we get easy buckets, and defensively we’ll also change because we’ll plug (the paint) more with (Gasol and me) and then they’ll get a different look when L.O. (Odom) is in the game because he’s a little more active and he’s going to show and deflect balls.

On where his knee affects him:
Bynum: When I come in the game, it’s OK. The problem is when you sit down for a while it kinda gets stiff. That’s something that can be solved with the elliptical and bike. It affects me the most offensively, when you need to get that second jump or get that second or third effort on the offensive boards and things like that … just being able to stop, get yourself gathered and get back on defense is (still) coming.

Bynum: “I’m Definitely Playing Tomorrow”

UCLA Health SystemAfter 25 games of the 2010-11 season spent on the bench, the wait for Andrew Bynum’s return appears to be over.

The 23-year-old center told reporters at Monday afternoon’s visit with President Barack Obama that he was “definitely playing tomorrow,” referring to L.A.’s Tuesday evening game against the Washington Wizards. His presence in the line up is way more than welcome to the Lakers, who have struggled (relatively, at least) of late due primarily to a lack of bodies in the post, as Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom have had to carry well more weight than should be necessary in December.

“I just want to go out there,” said Bynum. “It’s definitely going to be in bursts, either starting or not, it’s going to be quick spurts — five minutes here, five minutes there.”

Bynum said that he wasn’t sure whether he’d be starting or not, but Phil Jackson has consistently maintained that Bynum will indeed start, in part so that he can take advantage of a body (and specifically knee) that’s been warmed up prior to the game. That would move Lamar Odom back to the bench, a role Odom’s been quite comfortable with for the past two championship seasons.

The Lakers also play on Wednesday evening in Indiana, which Bynum acknowledged should prove to be a good litmus test.

“That’s a another reason probably why we believe that this will be a good test just to see what happens on a back-to-back situation, if there will be any swelling or anything like that,” he said.