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Bynum expected to play in Game 4, but will Lakers break Suns' zone?


Center Andrew Bynum will probably play in Game 4, but the Lakers had another dilemma: what to do with the Phoenix Suns' zone defense.

The Lakers said they had never seen so much zone in an NBA game, particularly in the playoffs. But now they say they'll try to find a way to beat it Tuesday by penetrating more often and, of course, shooting better from the outside in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.

Pau Gasol had only one shot in the fourth quarter of Game 3 on Sunday as the Suns pulled away from the Lakers, 118-109, and pulled within a game of evening their best-of-seven series.

"The zone forced us to go away from the inside," said Gasol, who made 11 of 14 shots and had 23 points. "It limited touches in there."

Gasol sees plenty of zone defense when playing internationally on the Spanish national team, but the Suns' use of it from the second quarter onward was a novelty in an NBA game, Gasol said.

"That's the first time probably that I've ever seen it that long," he said.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said he had never seen that much zone defense "in a playoff game."

The Lakers set a franchise playoff record by shooting 32 times from three-point range and made only nine.

"Got to be more aggressive," Kobe Bryant said. "We're standing around the perimeter way too much."

Meanwhile, Jackson said he was no longer considering sitting Bynum in Game 4 after a string of punchless performances by the 22-year-old.

Slowed by torn cartilage in his right knee for almost four weeks, Bynum had two points and two rebounds in less than eight minutes Sunday.

"I think he's going to be fine," Jackson said Monday before the Lakers practiced. "I talked to him this morning. He feels like he's OK. I was worried that he was impinging his ability to play by being concerned about his health or his status. He said he's OK."

Jackson thought Bynum might not have been getting full extension on his knee because of the brace he was wearing, so the Lakers will look at adjusting or changing it.

Bynum declined to blame his injury for his recent struggles. Four of his last five games have been quiet at best, including Sunday's foul-plagued effort. He had four fouls and was never a factor.

"I'm not putting it on the knee," he said. "I've been able to play well with it. The pain has been the same. It hasn't increased."

Surgery had been out of the question, the Lakers reiterated, because Bynum's return this season would have been questionable when the injury happened April 30 against Oklahoma City.

"Everything he's done with therapy and procedures in the past have taken longer" than expected for his recovery, Jackson said. "Three or four weeks would have been six or eight."

The NBA Finals, if the Lakers get there, begin June 1 or 3.

In other injury news, Suns guard Steve Nash was diagnosed with a minimally displaced nasal fracture and also displaced cartilage in the nose, though he won't miss any time. He was injured in the fourth quarter of Game 3 after being fouled by Derek Fisher. 

-- Mike Bresnahan, reporting from Phoenix

Photo: Forward Louis Amundson #17 of the Phoenix Suns reaches for the ball against Andrew Bynum of the Lakers in Game 3. Credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

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So who takes Doug Collins place on TNT, Mike Brown, or Mike Woodson?

Anyway, Celts fans set a very nice example of sportsmanship last time they won a finals.
Attacking a bus??
C'mon 131, admit that was pretty lame.

Posted by: Art - FL Lakers Fan | May 24, 2010 at 04:12 PM

Maybe they were star struck. They had never seen so much talent in one bus.

Mark G - your duct tape line was little more than a blip on my "humor radar".

You should work on your delivery.


Larry - being Mamba24 means never having to say you're sorry.... LOL!

Maybe they were star struck. They had never seen so much talent in one bus.
Posted by: 131-92 | May 24, 2010 at 04:25 PM
ROFLMAO!!! You still rolling 131!

Justa- ouch. See, I thought I set it up pretty well, a guy would have gotten it.

Hey 131 isn't there a game on tonight or something?

Hey 131 isn't there a game on tonight or something?

Posted by: Mamba24 | May 24, 2010 at 04:33 PM


Just going thru my pregame drills!

Mamba-Just going thru my pregame drills! Posted by: 131-92 | May 24, 2010 at 04:40 PM
Nobodys that relaxed 131! you don't have even a lil anxiety about the game tonight.


Cute, lol.
I have to give you credit, you are good at changing the subject and not addressing the issue being discussed, especially if you know you don't have a counter for it.
Might you be a politician?

Mamba-Just going thru my pregame drills! Posted by: 131-92 | May 24, 2010 at 04:40 PM
Nobodys that relaxed 131! you don't have even a lil anxiety about the game tonight.

Posted by: Mamba24 | May 24, 2010 at 04:46 PM

The great Magic Johnson(my new favorite Laker)said we will win. After that, I need not worry!

I can't see the Celts losing at home tonight. Orlando has no heart.

Magic Johnson owner of lakers on ESPN NBA Shoot-around just predicted Sun`s deadlock-in series with Lakers.Thanks Magic for the vote of confidence.

All the top NBA commentators and writers pickin Celtics to win it all.Magic Johnson hop-pin on Celtic band-wagon.Magic a big traitor.

So who takes Doug Collins place on TNT, Mike Brown, or Mike Woodson?

Posted by: Mark G | May 24, 2010 at 04:23 PM

I think it will be Doc Rivers. After we beat the Celts in the Finals, they will fire Doc.

Mark G - LOL - no. I got it. It just wasn't funny. That's why no one else commented on either. :)

You know I'm just messin wi' cha!!!


Are you two implying that I should not be flushing my toilet during the playoffs lest I loose my lucky stool?

An intriguing and difficult proposition.

I think I'll stick with the lucky bar stool.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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


Amare is an All-Star and was due for a good game, especially at home. However I could see danger early on, like the first two or three plays of the games that no doubt helped his confidence and helped jump start his night.

Lakers got lazy and lackadaisical in guarding Amare early, probably thinking he was going to roll over again. They compounded the problem by fouling him recklessly. The rest of the first quarter was truly awful display of defense. The Lakers kept getting beat on D and tried to make up for it by committing fouls after fouls. It just didn't look as bad because Kobe was keeping up on O. However the fouls took its toll on Bynum and Odom.

Sure the Lakers hit a skid in the 3rd where they were completely stumped by the zone defense but they did eventually caught up in the 4th. What really was their main failure was on Defense. Especially after they came back to tie it in the 4th. Absolutely lousy and atrocious defense for the whole game and just couldn't clamp down for crucial stops in the 4th.

Bottom line, the Lakers were done in by two things both on Defense and had less to do with poor shooting by Bynum, Odom and Artest:

1) Stupid and reckless fouling Sun players: when you play stupid and lazy defense and got beat, just man up and suck it up and let the other guys dunk on you. No need to give them the And-1. Take that as an insult and work harder on the next (defensive) possession.

2) How in the world can a nobody such as that Lopez guy going off on Lakers for 20+ pts and the game of his life?

A game like this once again proved that the Lakers win pretty much on talents and talents alone, no thanks to coaching. When the talents have an off-night the team loses. There are no fall back in term of better preparations, better game plans, better in-game adjustments, etc...

Coach..please bench Bynum for the rest of the playoffs and then trade him this summer. He is a complete ZERO. He has been no help to the team. What a waste of size. I am embarrased as a Laker fan to see him on the floor playing like a kid. Five years NBA experience and he shows nothing. He has no talent except size and he does not even know how to use his size. Trade him !!

i think lakers came up to this game thinking they had already won, and thats the perfect way to loose. Defense is much about intensity, and lakers were surprised because they won last 2 games easily. Im concerned about Gasol, he is playing too much, phil is going to burn him


I will be at #524 C St. S.R. in the afternoon, don't know the exact time so it will ok if you give me your email thru MM. Dying to meet my old buddy whom always snipe just like the good old days. Regards to Mrs. LakerTom, hope she's feeling well.

Looks like the greenies will give this away to Mr. Stern's NBA Cares, Inc. 4 - 0 is playing for the nuts. Btw, my neighbor was telling me this afternoon, how come Phil Jackson was not angry last night after the game? As usual being a cynic, he said because he got congratulatory phone call from JB. lol NBA Cares.

With Bynum done for the season yet again (figuratively not literally) the Laker advantage against Phoenix disappears. This series goes 6 or 7. If the Lakers survive then I just can't see them matching up against Boston without Bynum. It's just not in the cards that this Laker team is ever going to face Boston as a healthy team. All you guys who have been saying its time to get rid of Bynum are, unfortunately, right. This last knee injury was not a contact injury. It just happened, out of nowhere. Which brings me to Lebron.

Heard on pre-game that sign and trade a good possibility for Lebron and that Dallas has a shot (even, as the the report said, without including Nowitzki) because of their depth. Really?? Kidd nearing the end, Caron & Marion are good but give me a break.

The Lakers on the other hand....
Bynum and Lamar or Artest, or all 3 can be packaged.
Bynum, Lamar or Artest and 2 bench players with big $$ contracts (Sasha, Luke)to make the salaries match up can be packaged.

Bynum is the key that might make this look good to Cleveland. They get a 22 yr old 7 ftr with obvious talent to build around and they get something for Lebron.

Anybody know if this passes salary matching rules or cap rules? Surely Lebron would come to LA, wouldn't he?

I have to skip hundreds of post. The first few posts after the loss were by the usual Eeyores, chicken littles.
How can you predict "Lakers in 5" if you can't lose one game?
This ignorant Laker fans should find another outlet than hanging around message boards after ONE loss. They want to win in 5 games but don't want to lose a game. How is that possible?

have you guys seen the new "nightmare on elmstreet" movie? I noticed that steve nash looks just like the guy who plays freddy in that movie (before he gets burned)it is kinda creepy. go watch the movie and you will see what I am talking about. also, coach alvin gentry looks like an older version of steve urkel.

Posters have short memory.
Remember when everyone was in awe of Orlando and Phoenix? then the Lakers put on a clinic in games 1 and 2 and everyone is talking about Lakers/Celtics finals. Now the Suns won one game, and everyone is in awe of the Suns again?
Because Artest/Odom/Bynum did not come to play. They were out of focus. Only Kobe, Gasol and Fish were playing hard.
Try to add up this formula again.
Not a must win situation for the Lakers vs. a desperate Suns team = Suns win.
The Lakers almost stole the game also. Tuesday will be a different story. I am expecting an easy victory tomorrow.
For those who think the sky is falling. Jump off a bridge somewhere because it's the end of the world in your world anyway.

I hope the Lakers' best sixth man on the floor suits up again tomorrow. That's Channing Frye.

@ Mamba ... YaY!!!!! Look Out Vegas !! WE BAD!!! ROFL Hope you won a nice stack Bro.. I'm really happy you followed your gut and I'll be happier if it paid off for ya.. and LMAO @ you for already knowing I wanna be on any and all Bandwagons that support our Team, Blog and Blog mates and just plopping me on lmao hilarious..( fist bump larry )

@ Justa.. Hi Sis, I WAS here for live chat and MM DIDNT have live chat that game :( so there !! Hmph.. lmao and FYI Yes, I have nothing planned for tomm nites Laker victory but hangin with my peoples here and riding shotgun with you Justa

@ Edwin.. shush Bro!! No thanks needed.. you're family, unlike Celdick fans, in our Purple and Gold family, we ALWAYS show love and ALWAYS :) I'm Happy for you Man, enjoy the blessing.. Yeah.. I havent been able to post and BS with you guys this season.. but I've always checked in and kept tabs on you guys daily( reading the articles MM posted followed by watching you guys debate, defend and behead visiting trolls ).. I felt with you, Justa, Mamba, Jon K, Laker Tom and Rick under the "gloves off approach" of Mark M.. the blog was in EXCELLENT hands and will live on in the same, if not BETTER fashion than it did when the KBros was running thangs.. Now that things are calming back down and I realize I've pissed away 6 years of my LIFE following LOST only to be totally bummed at the lame reasoning behind the finale.. I''ve decided no more addictive TV.. I'm going back to nerdville and posting on silly sports blogs to explain my mancrush on the Lakers lmao

No time for spellcheck.. gotta go grab a double double :)


bynum has to go....seriously. the guy is injury prone and just a distraction. let's just get rid of him nxt season, buy out his contract or trade for CHRIS BOSH. we can include SASHA, POWELL, BYNUM, 1ST ROUND PICK. i am not sure if these three will equal to CHRIS BOSH contract but what the heck....give it a try. just dont include ODOM in the mix. we need him here in LAKERDOME !!! lakers are just making the series more exciting people. c'mon, game 1 and game 2 were a blow out so do not panic. they will win tuesday night, come back home and win in all. it's all about .....!!!! hahahhaha

Celtics is more depth (6-7 players in starting level)
Lakers only 2 players (Kobe and Pau); Odom very inconsistent all year, Fish in the end his career, Artest only a role defensive player, and Bynum cant play b/c injuries.

In the Finals against Celtics, Pau Gasol should guard Garnett, Perkins, Wallace and Davis. No possible for Pau. DJ Mbenga cant play, Bynum is injured, again. Pau Gasol cant guard the entire Celtics post-players team like 2 years early (in offense against Perkins, in defense against KG and in garbage time against Davis) IMPOSSIBLE.

And not forget, Pau still playing 42 min. game. Buffffffff.

There doesn't seem to be any commitment to defense by LA. I want someone in the media to ask Phil about what he thinks about a defense that allows an average of 108 ppg by the Suns. We need to start locking down people.


Congrats buddy! Throw me on the bandwagon.

As for the zone... sure it hurt us, but so did the refs. We can adjust a tiny bit to the refs and we can adjust a lot to the zone. It's a gimmick that worked. They can't gimmick the whole way to a playoff series win. Phil will outsmart them and our players are smart enough and skilled enough to execute Phil's will.


bynum is a 7 footer distraction to his team and will bring them down with him. he has no defensive IQ and always conscious about his present health and that prevents him from performing his duties. get his lazy azz out of LA, buy him out or just fire his azz for not performing his duties. he's laid back thinking how he rail road buss in his last contract deal.

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