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Andrew Bynum fine, Kobe Bryant subdued as Lakers prepare for the Thunder

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A day after playing in his first game after missing the last 13 regular-season games with a left Achilles' tendon strain, Lakers center Andrew Bynum said he felt fine coming off of practice Monday.

Bynum finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoffs against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center. It was the first game he had played since he was injured 30 days ago.

"My Achilles' feels fine," Bynum said. "Every now and then, on a couple of movements I feel something, but it's nothing too serious."

The Lakers have a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series that resumes Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Kobe Bryant was subdued when he spoke with the media after practice Monday.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Bryant was the same way during practice.

"He was very subdued today when he was in the training room and in the video room," Jackson said. "I didn't get anything or initiate a conversation but once with him, and that was it."

Jackson said Bryant came in early and took some shots but didn't do much at practice on the court.

One bright spot in Game 1 was the defense Ron Artest played on Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant.

Artest held Durant to 24 points on seven-for-24 shooting.

"He [Durant] had some open looks, and Ron got some tough defensive challenges against him too," Jackson said.

-- Broderick Turner

Photo: Lakers center Andrew Bynum goes to work in the post against Thunder center Nenad Krstic during Sunday's game. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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HCE:

YOU WROTE: "Lamar Odom is consistently the most useless player on the team. It's very frustrating watching him contribute so little in 90% of the games he plays in. Yesterday was a perfect example. He showed he's undisciplined, lazy, not hard working and has never developed a skill set suited to his size. Name me any other 6'10" player with as little inside game as Odom. And if he ever learns to make a layup, I'll faint."

RESPONSE:

Obviously, by writing a negative post on Lamar you have highlighted you own lack of knowledge on basketball. Just think if you had the opportunity to tell the decision makers in Lakerville, from Dr. Buss down to assistant coaches, could you then persuade them from resigning Lamar?

It is obvious that what you see is lacking in Lamar and what the laker brass, teammates, coaches and including Kloe see see in Lamar is good enough for him to be member of this championship caliber team. According to your post Lamar does not belong, really? So, next time try to see it out the box and don't be so hard on Lamar. Your rant only shows an emotional knee jerk reaction that only an ignoramus fan would commit.

Have a nice day!!

Andrew Bynum


He was out for the last 13 games of the regular season, he comes back in time for the 1st game of the playoffs, his presence and toughness alone in the paint made a difference.

Then he decides to dominate in the offense with his dunks, intimidating and blocking shots in defense.


What happens when he gets his strength and rhtyhm back?

To make things even brighter, he is exactly what Pau needs, when he is around Gasol's weaknesses are covered. Gasol relies on Drew's power and strength in the paint, it prevents Gasol from loosing his touch of the game.


The trio of Bynum, Gasol and Odom is the Lakers strength.


The duo of Artest and Bryant in the perimter defense is special.


Faith in 24

So strong, missed shots are never a concern. He'll make the next 10 in a row. We know it, but, maybe not this year. He's making plays, makin' a difference, can't win without him, but not shootin' the rock like he can.

He knows it. Of course, he's disappointed. It's winnin' time and he doesn't have his clip fully loaded. Talk about the legs but anyone that's ever shot a basketball knows that hand is a disaster. As Kobe said, his margin for error is smaller.

Everyone has to adjust. Fans, coaches, players and most of all Kobe. Can't just go Kobe ball in the 4th. He'll get the last shot, but ya don't want to see that lost look on player's faces as they scan the floor lookin' for him in the last 12 minutes. He can't don the cape consistently and the good news is, he doesn't have to as long as everyone is aware of the shift in the force that is Kobe.

Two things that concern me:

1. The Lakers can't extend leads. I think this has more to do with the way they are trying to milk the clock and not run their offense. It like they are dribbling way too much once they get their lead.

2. Why don't they keep pounding the ball inside after the first quarter? If it was Shaq down in the post, they would be feeding him in every possesion. Now you have two legitimate low post players and you don't throw it down there after the first quarter. I don't know if they just forget about them, or they guards want to score themselves.

Bottom line: The guards dribble way too much after the first quarter. It's suppose to be a motion offense where you don't really have to dribble, just pass. As much as people don't like Luke sometimes, he is the one player that will hardly dribble and run the triangle. Rick Fox and Robert Horry were the same way, where they would not dribble much but pass.

THE BEAST IS BACK…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
CORNERJ… “Laker Tom, the drinks are on me. Bynum earned his stripes today. In fact, he completely changed the entire dynamic of the game with his athletic, aggressive, early play. He was indeed a beast today. If he can keep this up, the Lakers' chance for another title go way up.” Thanks for the early props, CJ. Another swish from the corner for you. Make that Grey Goose straight up on the rocks with a medical marijuana chaser.
~
I have been saying all year that once the NBA playoffs began Andrew Bynum and Ron Artest would transform the Lakers from the finesse perimeter-shooting offensive-oriented team they were the last two years’ playoffs to the aggressive shot-blocking defense-oriented team we saw perform so well last night. No disrespect to Trevor or Lamar, but Drew and Ron starting adds over a hundred pounds of muscle to the lineup.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
FAITH… “Very well played game by Andrew Bynum. Laker Tom will be pleased ;-).” I am so happy to see you back posting again, Faith. If Drew can impress our Ministress of Defense, that is good enough for me. I loved what Kobe and the players were all saying about how they missed Drew’s low post presence at both ends of the court. I thought that this was Drew’s finest game this year. We will repeat if he plays like this all playoffs.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
EDWIN… ‘LakerTom must be exceedingly happy with what Bynum exhibited today, he made a beastful presence today. I wonder what Mike T. would say if he's in this blog. It is also good he's no longer posting because I doubt if he could handle the temperament of posters today.” Despite his crazy love for Kwame, I always thought that Mike was a solid contributor to the blog. Most readers don’t remember some of the very well written and insightful comments Mike would post or the many humorous exchanges he had with us. Maybe he is lurking and will stop by and post a few comments. Just so he doesn’t wish Drew to be injured.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM D… “LakerTom, Been waiting for your post-win post, but haven't seen it yet. I was very encouraged by Drew's play yesterday. I have always been a Bynum optimist. I see the size, the agility, the hands, the touch. All the tools to be a great big man. I've been waiting for him to pull it together, to have the light bulb go on, and I think the two big knee injuries slowed down that process.”
~
Great post! The better Tom speaks. Needless to say, I was thrilled at how great Drew played, especially on defense. You could actually see the difference in the Lakers interior defense the minute that Drew left the game. As great a power forward and backup center that Pau is, it was obvious that the Thunder were able to get to the rim almost every time that Drew went out of the game. Drew needs to get his wind back and play 40 minutes. Then I think we will see the kind of defensive impact that really shuts down other teams in the post.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
JON K… “I want to watch a game commented on by The Moderator, Laker Tom and Justanothermambafan. THAT would be a game to record on the DVR!” That would be fun. Justanothermambafan is one of my favorite posters. I like what the Moderator has been posting but still remember his inaugural post that basically tried to rip me a new one so I am not sure how well we would get along as co-commentators. LOL. :)
~~~~~~~~~~~~
STAPLES… “Is everyone a Bynum believer now? If not for Kobe sliding to Bynum's knees and Odom sticking his foot under Bynum's landing space. This kid would be the most dominant center in the West already. Even with two major surgeries he keeps coming back. Jim Buss for President of the United States of America!
~
There are only two Bynum Bashers left alive at this point and we all know who they are. By the time we win it all again, even Hobbitmage and Blitz will be trying to jump aboard the Bynum Bandwagon. We are watching the Next Great Lakers Center. Drew and Ron are going to make the difference defensively this playoffs.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
REPEAT… “TEA PARTY FOR ANDREW BYNUM: 1. This just might be the year for Drew to put his stamp on Laker's quest for TITLE repeat. 2. The jury is out and see if the Big Kid can take us to the promise land. 3. Drew's star is shining bright and this playoff run is his RED CARPET.” Loved your comments, Repeat, but I really hated the Tea Party reference. In my opinion, Tea Party represents white upper middle class males who hate seeing their tax money go to help the less fortunate. How about a Debutante Coming Out Party for Drew?
~~~~~~~~~~~~
TOM

SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT IN THE LAKERVILLE:

Where have all the Beast lovers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the Beast lovers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the Beast lovers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Weird... Sometimes when I visit the LA Times pages my Avira antivirus starts screaming. Today it's happened twice when surfing in here at the blog. Is this a zombie virus making us all accept our Lakers' effortless play? Well, at least we got one really nice quarter in this 1st playoff game. But this kinda messes up my prediction with focus in game 1 and going to sleep in game 2. We already did both in gm1... I'm still sticking with my Lakers in 6 prediction.

"Name me any other 6'10" player with as little inside game as Odom."

Rasheed Wallace
Brian Cook
Brad Miller
Spencer Hawes
Robert Horry (yes Horry's inside game wasn't something to fear as much as his perimeter shooting).

It's not uncommon.

"And if he ever learns to make a layup, I'll faint."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeqm8m8pDco

WE NEED A MEDIC!!! HCE just fainted!! Help!!

HCE - Dawg what Laker games have you been watching? Not sure what made you think that Lamar is useless. Dude, I'll tell you what, come to my house so I can hit you over the head with a basketball, three times. You know where I live, make it happen!

Anyone have a link to that hilarious video of some fans on the streets of LA during the 2008 finals that mock paul pierce? They see him driving around, pretend they're hurt and two of them carry the other one that wails. And Paul sees it all.

I'm having trouble finding the link.

BTW, found a great quote from a poster on espn...

"Paul Pierce needs to stop trying to win the Oscar for Best Actress. It will only lead to his husband cheating on him."

Ouch!

DFish,

I think this is the second one in a month that we're in agreement about. We might never completely agree on Fish, but this one I'll tip my hat to ya on. LO CAN be a major boost for the Lakers and a threat to everyone else. I just wish I knew the formula for making that happen every game during the playoffs.

JR

Andy L-

that is a legitimate bit of malware and i'm surprised that the LA Times allows it on their site(i'm pretty sure it's an advertiser's tracking bot).

"Subdued Byyant"
GRUMPY'S BACK!!

Gotta love that

Artest is the key to the series. If he can lockdown Durant that limits them big time scoring on a consistent basis. Why do ppl still get on Lamar Odom? He's a team player that's unselfish and cares about the team. Not some selfish player who just want to get his points.

Laker Tom,

"Most readers don’t remember some of the very well written and insightful comments Mike would post or the many humorous exchanges he had with us."

Michael Teniente was unbalanced, but he was quite elegant and AT TIMES he actually provided uniquely intelligent insight into what was going on with our Lakers.

By comparison to these reactionary trolls, Mike T. was a gentleman and a genius. He caused a lot of conflict on the blog, but at least he attempted to back up his perspective on things with facts and/or an actual understanding of the game. This new generation of controversy muckers are just tedious by comparison. Mike T. at least had personality and talent.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Kobe Bryant was subdued when he spoke with the media after practice Monday.
Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said Bryant was the same way during practice.
"He was very subdued today when he was in the training room and in the video room," Jackson said. "I didn't get anything or initiate a conversation but once with him, and that was it."
Jackson said Bryant came in early and took some shots but didn't do much at practice on the court.

_________

Sounds like Kobe is hurtin' and knows he just can't bring it.
I can only imagine how this must make him feel.
This guy lives for the playoffs as much as any player ever.
This is I think the first time in Kobes career that I really feel sorry for him.
This is a cloud hanging over the Lakers, hopefully the bright side is that the team will rally around this and really pick it up to come through for him, like he came through for them so many times over the years.

We're going to win this series. It's that simple and I will be SHOCKED if we don't at least make it to the Finals.

But 60% of the posts are screaming that the sky is falling. What a bunch of psychos.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

Pete Seeger,

The Thunder have no answer for The Beast... nor does anybody else really in the Western Conference playoffs.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!

I will admit that Odom is not completely useless, and he is a real game changer when he shows up. But he does take off at least half his games. The truly frustrating aspect of Odom is watching him tank games, which he most certainly does. He deserves to be criticized for his inconsistency. He has earned it.

HCE,

Hey, hater. This one's for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvSCBY1bYTg

Viva Lamar!

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!!!!

"Sounds like Kobe is hurtin' and knows he just can't bring it. . ."

Posted by: Art - FL Lakers Fan | April 19, 2010 at 04:08 PM

I have a feeling you're right Art. I don't know if it's mileage, injuries, or a combination of both, but he really seems to be struggling. I don't really think we'll know where he's at until next year when he's healthy.

LakerTom,

you wrote: There are only two Bynum Bashers left alive at this point and we all know who they are. By the time we win it all again, even Hobbitmage and Blitz will be trying to jump aboard the Bynum Bandwagon. We are watching the Next Great Lakers Center. Drew and Ron are going to make the difference defensively this playoffs.

my response:

1st. I'm glad we got the win.

2nd. have I grown up or shrunk down? I used to be a Bynum baiter.

3rd. As always you are overly simplistic and reactionary. Let me get this
straight.

Bynum has 1 good game, not a great game, against a team with no strong
center & ALREADY he is the second coming of Christ? Am I over
exaggerating your words? Are you over exaggerating my words?

I believed you two years ago. You were wrong. I believed you a year ago.
You were wrong. You were awfully quite this December when your boy
stank to high heaven. As expected, he has a good game against a team he's
supposed to have a good game against and you blow it out of proportion.
I will withhold judgment on Bynum until he battles a GOOD center in the
playoffs and dominates. I still wish we had gotten Bosh.

Go Kobe!
Go Lakers!!

And for the record: I won't be on the Bynum bus anytime soon. As always,
I support the Lakers winning the championship.

IT IS A BLASPHEMY, AS WE HAVE AN INFIDEL AMONGST US:

Jon K.:

YOU WROTE: "We're going to win this series. It's that simple and I will be SHOCKED if we don't at least make it to the Finals."

RESPONSE: According to your post it sounds like Lakers are not playing for the title rather a moral victory that will suffice if we make it to the finals..hmmm sounds like you have been hanging out with the Cleveland fans a lot in the bar and for few free drinks you have crossed over to the dark side.

Have a nice day and may God give you stability and faith..hahahaha!


Must take a couple of minutes to chime in.

Bynum showed EXACTLY why the Lakers had been listless the past few weeks while he was gone. They REALLY missed his inside presence, Pau in the paint doesn't make up for his inside game. He is a beast, pure and simple. The Lakers have a lot of talent that surrounds him, but if he had 15-20 more touches per game then he would be in the MVP conversation, no doubt about it! He also allows for L.O. go back to the 6th-man role he's so well filled these past two seasons.

Yes, LakerTom truly does deserve a big tip of the hat for defending his man through thick and thin, much props for that! Mark my words, we will ALL see in the coming decade the beast that AB will become, I think that he will more than earn his spot alongside the pantheon of great Laker big men! Like I will continue saying, Bynum will be the best big man by 2012, he will then be 25 and a 7-year veteran, he will be a MONSTER in the paint! In this game though it was like the cavalry came to the rescue right in the nick of time, great to see AB back with a vengeance!

- - -

This is why they signed Ron Artest! For those skeptics, one needs to look no further than Sundays game. Kevin Durant was a scoring demon this year, Artest shut him down. So, I can only repeat, THIS is why the Lakers signed Ron Ron!

- - -

The team scored a great victory where Kobe didn't have a good shooting night (I'm sure he will never admit to it, but that broken finger has really messed up Kobe's shooting). All in all a great win, relatively close at the end or not, the Lakers did what they had to do and did so without a major contribution from their best player, so say what you may this was a great way to start a playoff run.

GO LAKERS!!!

im getting hella tired of reading all these articles about how the lakers didnt do this and the lakers arent ready and bla bla bla. The thunder are a good team! they have great young talent and are fierce players. there are no cake walk series for the lakers. they won 50 games for god sake!! the lakers did what they had to do to win. yes bryant and ron were off but we need to stop hoping and looking for kobe to be 2006 kobe. its just not gonna happen, why dont ppl talk about how well the bench played in their limited minutes. kobe will be effective in some way, if not torching the stat sheet. and someone needs to tell around the horn to kick plashke's a$$ out of that show! jeez id rather hear a gutted cat scratch his nails on a chalk board rather than listen to that nut case!

as much as i like to agree with you all about the beast in bynum i just can't see him rolling all over the bigs of either the jazz, denver or dallas, but i sure hope you're right that bynum can sustain his stamina throughout the playoffs. Go lakers!

i wish phil will get it through his THICK skull that kobe will not be able to carry us to the championship this year. it's not gonna happen! he's playing with one hand and on one leg. i don't understand phil, we have two of the best big men in the game. has anyone noticed how dominant we are in the beginning of games when we make a conscience decision to play from the inside out?!!! we were rolling the first quarter!!! dump the ball into the bigs, let them score, let them get the other team in foul trouble and let THEM create easy scoring opportunities for the guards. but nooooooooooo, what do we do?! we get a lead (built off the big men), and we suddenly decide...ENOUGH!! let the guards handle it from here!! we have been doing this crap all season, WITH THE SAME FREAKING RESULTS!!!! we dominate the first quarter and then we go away from pau and drew...and we almost lose or lose!!!!! PHIL, JUST GIVE THEM THE D@MN BALL!! ARGGGGGH! i'm frustrated. and no, i was not happy with that freaking win! we'll see what great ideas the zen master comes up with tonight!

Kobe is just trying to find his way to overcome it all.
One solution is actually the one that he tried also last game against OKC, and that was vanished by is teammates lofty execution, namely the starter/builder/creator of the offensive side, (as much as he generally does well in the defensive walling up to opponents, although the quickness factor could be a struggle still there).

Kobe knows what to do to be force&blood of these playoffs again: what helps him even in times of struggle due to a series of painful and really invasive injuries is that his vision and understanding of the game, as long as all of his untoucheable game skills are virtually covering every possible position and role in the schemes.

Of course he's touched by the situation: but all he wants is the others to adjust to his new (forced) optionable role, and do their best along him.

As usual, Kobe's best assets in a wonderful exposition of awesome assets still his drive.

The Mamba still there ready to bite: it's just that we have to understand those bites don't necessarily have to be a basket of his own, but they can be a basket his teammates executed out of his clear pure vision.

Last game that couldn't happen as much as he (and us all) hoped; let's see what happens today.


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