Lakers' Bynum plans to play despite injury
By BETH HARRIS
LOS ANGELES — Four years into his NBA career, Andrew Bynum is still trying to make it through his first full postseason.
The oft-injured Los Angeles Lakers center went through a limited practice yesterday for the first time since having his balky right knee drained on Monday.
"It didn't really help," he said. "As soon as I drained it, about 12 hours later all the fluid came back."
As a result, the swelling that has plagued Bynum isn't any better, either. His big black knee brace remains a constant companion, as does the pain in his knee.
"It's going to be there when I come down from jumping, push off laterally, missed shot, trying to go get a rebound after the fact," he said. "The muscle is kind of shutting down because of the swelling, so it's tough to jump and do everything at your maximum level."
Still, Bynum is determined to try, especially because he was helpless to stop the Boston Celtics' pummeling of the Lakers in the NBA finals two years ago. He was hurt and only along for the bus ride back to the hotel after the Celtics won the title on their home court.
Bynum will get a chance to help his teammates avenge that stinging defeat starting tonight when the Lakers host the Celtics in Game 1 of the finals.
"He's going to give everything he's got again just like he's been doing," fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol said.
Bynum had to content himself with watching from the bench yesterday as the Lakers scrimmaged, his heavily wrapped right leg stretched out in front of him. Even then, he wasn't paying total attention while chatting with shooting coach Craig Hodges. Coach Phil Jackson took notice.
"Saw that Drew?" he asked.
Bynum admitted he hadn't seen the play, so Luke Walton walked over and filled him in. Later, Bynum left the floor to seek treatment on his knee while his teammates practiced free throws. He said he doesn't plan to have his knee drained again.
He's playing with a small tear in his meniscus that was discovered during the opening round against Oklahoma City. He's started all 16 of the Lakers' playoff games, averaging 9.1 points and 7.7 rebounds but playing only 24 minutes per game. He's sat out most recent practices after series wins against Utah and Phoenix.
All Hawai'i times; x-if necessary
Boston vs. L.A. Lakers
Today: Boston at L.A. Lakers, 3 p.m.
Sunday: Boston at L.A. Lakers, 2 p.m.
June 8: L.A. Lakers at Boston, 3 p.m.
June 10: L.A. Lakers at Boston, 3 p.m.
x-June 13: L.A. Lakers at Boston, 2 p.m.
x-June 15: Boston at L.A. Lakers, 3 p.m.
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