Caught in the Web: Lakers ready for Game 1 against Phoenix Suns
-- The Times' Mike Bresnahan reports that Lakers guard Kobe Bryant recently had a significant amount of fluid drained from his swollen right knee.
-- Scouts tell The Times' Broderick Turner that fans should expects a long series between the Suns and Lakers.
-- The Daily News' Vincent Bonsignore explains why Lakers guard Derek Fisher feels up to the task of guarding the Suns' Steve Nash.
-- The Orange County Register's Janis Carr looks into how the long layoff could affect both the Lakers' and Suns' play.
-- NBA.com's Art Garcia says the return of Suns center Robin Lopez is a significant variable as Andrew Bynum's bum knee has kept him out of practices.-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's David Lassen focuses on how the Lakers plan to limit the Suns' paint presence.
-- ESPN Los Angeles' Dave McMenamin says the Lakers are rested and ready for Phoenix.
-- The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller argues Bynum should take cues from Bryant on how to remain guarded when discussing injuries.-- Fox Sports' Charley Rosen breaks down the Lakers-Suns series.
-- The Daily News' Elliott Teaford highlights how the Lakers feel they are championship ready.
-- NBA Fanhouse's Chris Tomasson argues that Fisher deserves a spot on next season's roster for his resurgent play this postseason.
-- The New York Times' Billy Witz details how the Lakers are motivated by their first-round losses in 2006 and 2007 to Phoenix.-- ESPN Los Angeles' Land O' Lakers blog recounts Magic Johnson's performance in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals.
-- Forum Blue and Gold's Darius previews the series with Valley of the Suns
-- Silver Screen and Roll's DexterFishmore is anxious for this series to get started.
-- Silver Screen and Roll's Saurav A. Das outlines the Lakers' individual improvements.
-- The Times' Mark Heisler recounts Alvin Gentry's stint with the Clippers.-- The Arizona Republic's Dan Bickley outlines the importance that Phoenix upsets the Lakers. And the reasons extend beyond advancing to the NBA Finals.
-- The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro details how the Suns have been playing their best basketball as of late.
-- The Arizona Republic's Jay Dieffenbach reports that Vegas oddsmakers don't like Phoenix's chances against the Lakers.-- The Riverside Press Enterprise's Lassen highlights Phoenix's ability to run the floor.
-- The Arizona Republic's E. J. Montini credits Jerry Colangelo for laying the organization's foundation as the Sun's first general manager.
-- ESPN NBA analyst and Washington Post columnist Michael Wilbon has a Sunday conversation in the video below with Steve Nash.
-- The Arizona Republic's Bob Young highlights Gentry's acknowledgement that injuries limited Bryant's effectiveness.
-- The Arizona Republic's Coro and Young point to Suns guard Jason Richardson as an X-factor in this series.-- The Arizona Republic's sports staff offer their series predictions
-- Valley of the Suns' Michael Schwartz highlights Jared Dudley's contributions.
-- In the audio file below, I discuss the Lakers' upcoming matchup against Phoenix with Fox Sports Radio's John Fricke and Pooh Richardson.
Tweet of the Day: "Rob and LaMar are getting serious about this video game challenge they have going on! I can hear them from the other room." -- KhloeKardashian (reality-TV star and Lamar Odom's wife).
Reader Comment of the Day: "I think Drew's injury may be OK because it forces Andrew to stay near the basket and rebound intead of always trying to be the 1st guy down court for an alley-oop" -- wesjoenixon
-- Mark Medina
Photo: Lakers center Andrew Bynum walks on the court at the team's training facility in El Segundo during a team practice on Wednesday. Bynum sat out the practice session because of a knee injury. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
Photo: Suns center Robin Lopez, who is scheduled to return to the lineup after a bulging disc kept him out of the first two playoff series, will play a pivotal role against the Lakers' sizable front line. Without him, the Suns are vulnerable defensively in the paint and on the boards. Credit: Rob Schumacher / Associated Press