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Andrew Bynum keeping level-headed attitude about strong playoff play

Photo: Andrew Bynum on April 12, 2011. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times Those trying to understand the psyche behind Andrew Bynum's confidence can leaf through the 336-page book that's sat on his locker room chair for the past 10 days.

Anytime he has a spare moment, Bynum has been reading "The New Psycho-Cybernetics," which stresses positive thinking and details how to achieve goals faster with more efficiency. Instead of wasting time between sessions of treatment on his surgically repaired right knee, when he's sitting on the team bus or hanging out at the hotel room, Bynum has thumbed through the book, an exercise that shows both his interest in reading and self-growth.

"It's all about strengthening your mind, acquiring your mind and allowing your mind to work for you than letting it run you," Bynum said after practice Sunday at the Lakers' facility in El Segundo. "It's a useful tool to get what you want."

So far, Bynum has gotten just that, proving instrumental in the Lakers' victorious first-round series against New Orleans with an average of 15.2 points on 55.6% shooting with 10.3 rebounds. He describes his mind set as "confident" heading into the semifinal matchup with Dallas beginning Monday at Staples Center. And his injury-prone history remains the last thing on his mind. 

Naturally, Lakers Coach Phil Jackson wouldn't address that issue, worried he might jinx Bynum's good fortune. "I'm not going there with that question," Jackson said. "I'm leaving that one alone. Where's the wood to knock on around here." Even though Bynum said nearly two weeks ago the importance of making it out of the first-round series relatively healthy, he downplayed that milestone, indicating "anything can happen." But it's Bynum's insistence on drawing from positive thinking that's enabled him to overcome the psychological hurdle of not worrying about injuries and playing in an aggressive manner. 

Of course, there are plenty of variables that have gone into Bynum's strong play, including his 7-0, 285-pound frame and becoming the anchor to the Lakers' defense, two variables that will prove instrumental when he matches up with Dallas' 7-foot, 235-pound Tyson Chandler. His frequent meditation sessions and conversations with sports psychologist George Mumford have also contributed to Bynum's positive thinking. But so has his reading material, something Bynum has done actively based off recommendations from Jackson, his mother and aunt, most of which emphasize having a positive outlook.

"For me, the biggest [thing] is the meditation part about the book," Bynum said. "It really helps. It's a mental theater and visualization tactic and helping you believe. It's a good book. I think a lot of people should read it. It's about sharpening your mind."

-- Mark Medina

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Photo: Andrew Bynum on April 12, 2011. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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re: How many times have we seen this when one team is in a rhythm, especially a young team like the Grizzlies, and the other team hasn't played in awhile. Rest = rust for the first half of MANY Game 1's. By the 4th quarter, the rested team has the advantage. I still like OKC in this game.

HAVING SAID THAT, the Grizzlies look great!

my response: Memphis has: Shane Battier & Tony Allen. That's good/great
perimeter defense.

Memphis has Marc Gasol at C & Z. Randalph at forward.

I don't think OKC is rusty at all. I think Memphis played better defensively.
Look at points in the paint 52-38. Marc Gasol had 20-13 & 3 blocks!

Memphis is looking like they're making a run. I can easily see them upsetting

I agree do not count the Grizzles out just because they are playing OKC who they have beating three times this year during the season have beaten the lakers twice and Miami once and we have yet to beat the heat this season but if we meet in finals I think that would change but I could see the lakers facing Grizzlies in WCF

LEWSTRS, the king of Vegas...

Put me in the Lakers in 6 bandwagon.


I didn't watch the Celts x Heat game...

Did the refs gave all the love to the Cheat?

Or the Celts were old and slow?

Laker fan-

I expect a different outcome game 2! I know that comes as a surprise to you!! But not gonna blame the refs cuz eventhough they were terrible, I dont think it woulda made a difference. Game was pretty much over at that point.

Miami had 3 guys score 85 pts. Dont know if they can win like that again. Pierce and Garnett will have better games!! And Rondo's 3 first have fouls didnt help either. That was on him, not the refs!!

I guess Doc Rivers can take solace with the fact that the Heat didn't beat his starting 5!

@131-92..........Go Celtics..Never in a million yrs. I would say this,but...I would like to see Lakers/Celtics one more time before the youngins' take over!!! It would be nice to end with 17 Banners each! Rather befitting that we both have ruled the NBA for so many years!

OKC is in trouble and the trade and $31M spent on Kendrick Perkins is starting to look like a bad blink as it’s the Grizzlies who suddenly look like the hot young team ready to challenge the champs. Watching Marc Gasol dominate Perkins is going to be a bitter pill to swallow for the young Thunder who traded for Perkins specifically to be their answer for Andrew Bynum and the Lakers. Now it looks as if the Thunder will even not make it out of the second round again. Memphis in 5 games.

Who could not revel in the irony of the Grizzlies’ first round ouster of the Spurs and their head coach Greg Popovich, who had ridiculed Memphis for their stupid trade of Pau Gasol to the Lakers. I said right after the trade that the key for Memphis was Marc Gasol, who by then had emerged as the premier center in Europe a year after being selected by the Lakers in the second round. While Marc Gasol was still flying under the radar for most NBA fans, it was no secret that the kid could play.

It’s criminally funny how the headline news machine blurs reality and rewrites basketball history. Mark Medina recently stated that trading for Pau Gasol “… immediately softened Kobe Bryant's frustration about the team lacking a championship roster.” The reality is that Kobe had already acknowledged before the trade that the emergence of Andrew Bynum made the team championship caliber and Jerry West had even ranked the Lakers as the best team in the NBA before the trade.

We always rightfully appreciate the three Finals appearances and two championships we’ve had since trading for Pau, a move that Jerry Buss has acknowledged would probably not happened had Drew not been injured. So here’s some irony for those who enjoy that kind of thing. Had Drew not gotten injured, the Lakers may well have done just as well and actually ended up with a stronger roster. We would have had a healthy Drew to make up for not having Pau but would also have Marc Gasol.

Back to reality, I think the Grizzlies are going to become the Lakers toughest competitor in the West. They’re going to beat OKC the same way the Lakers did – tough physical dominance in the paint. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are the Grizzlies version of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. And while the Grizzlies remind you of the Lakers in the front court, that’s where the comparison stops as the Lakers also have Kobe Bryant. At any rate, Lakers vs. Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals.

Memphis has Marc Gasol at C & Z. Randalph at forward.

I don't think OKC is rusty at all. I think Memphis played better defensively.
Look at points in the paint 52-38. Marc Gasol had 20-13 & 3 blocks!

Memphis is looking like they're making a run. I can easily see them upsetting

Posted by: hobbitmage | May 01, 2011 at 03:23 PM

They happen to match up well with OKC! Man do I love it when I'm wrong sometimes! :)

This is some fun stuff!! I LOVE the playoffs!!

@131-92..........Go Celtics..Never in a million yrs. I would say this,but...I would like to see Lakers/Celtics one more time before the youngins' take over!!! It would be nice to end with 17 Banners each! Rather befitting that we both have ruled the NBA for so many years!

Posted by: NewMexioLL | May 01, 2011 at 04:44 PM

Agree but 18-16 sounds better to me!

I agree with 131, it's just the first game and it was see saw battle single vs. double digit lead. It is very noticeable that Celtics have post defense problems. How come Krstic played only for short minutes, is he still injured? The absence KP was felt in this game because D'Wade was free to roam under the basket. Definitely, they would need the services of Shaq and PP at the closing minutes which is outside/inside play or else Game 2 will be another repetition of Game 1.

LakerTom, thanks for your kind comments. There is a nice article on Sunday Times about Drew comparing him to Shaq's personality. He loves to read his kindle. Wish he gets also a DVD and watch the legends of the past, he should not stop continue improving on his pivot moves in the post. Drew has to learn two things: athletic ability in using height as an advantage (which he's already using) and the other one, is hustle plays (just watch Artest).

Speaking of hustle plays, Zach Randolf is turning into that kind of monster. Do I see ala' Moses Malone there down low with his strong rebound and 2nd chance shots through follow ups.

Drew is looking to become the final legacy of Phil's unique coaching career. He is going to leave behind one big, thoughful dude with a PJ-esque mental approach to basketball.

I understand the logic behind those who want to hedge the bet and exchange Drew for Howard (though I don't know how realistic it is to get done). The thinking side of me understands the urge.

The emotional side of me wants to see Drew reach his full potential as a Laker. The upside of this guy is sooooo high. A couple of years ago I was the guy constantly posting about Drew's strengths - size, length, hands, footwork, touch, ability to re-jump, etc. I got pretty annoying, even to myself.

The injuries have given me pause, but I still see all those strengths, and a growing maturity. I really enjoy watching the way Drew plays now. My first choice is still a healthy Drew in Purple and Gold.

Paula's ejection was pretty bogus, clearly Darth Stern wants the Cheat to move on. I agree with above comments regarding long in the tooth teams. We better do it this year because Kobe and the Lakers are not getting any younger. A changing of the guard is coming on both sides...hope it isn't this year. GO LAKERS!!!


Thanks for agreeing with me but I respectfully disagree with you. JO when healty has done everything Perk woulda done. Did Perk stop Memphis inside? What makes you think he woulda stopped DWade?

We have to do a better job of keeping DWade out of the paint. Once he gets in there it really doesnt matter who is in there. He is a tough matchup for Ray cuz he is much more athletic than Ray.

Krstic doesnt play cuz he is not putting up numbers. I doubt that he is injured. And if he is then he needs to deal with it. Everybody is hurt this time of year!!

Somebody tell Perkins that insulting Pau Gasol might result in Pau's younger yet bigger and stronger brother wanting to shut him up.

Lakers in 6 - while allowing their opponent the customary split at Staples in either Game 1 or 2.

Jordan always faced a future hall of famer in the finals. Jordan vs magic,kareem, mj vs barkley, malone, stockton, drexler and payton. Now it is time kobe face lbj and dwade. I know there is trepidation amongst the laker fans in facing the heat. After all lbj has embarrased the lakers two consecutive years. But the whole world wants to see kobe vs lbj. It is time. The lakers vs celtics will be boring.

Memphis is looking like they're making a run. I can easily see them upsetting

Posted by: hobbitmage | May 01, 2011 at 03:23 PM

They happen to match up well with OKC! Man do I love it when I'm wrong sometimes! :)

This is some fun stuff!! I LOVE the playoffs!!

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | May 01, 2011 at 04:49 PM

What prompted this bromance? lol

coming off a great series with nola, i expect drew to get even better in the dallas series. while chandler does present a formidable challenge to 'drew, just remember what bynum did against tyson the last time they met. 'drew went fo 18 pts and 13 rebs. to chandler 7 pts and 10 rebs. while i think that dwight howard is the best "big man" in the game at this time, 'drew's last outing against him was a pretty good one! 10pts, 18 rebs and 4 blocks. these two games were two weeks apart when L.A. was clicking on all cylinders. bynum is on a roll mentally and physically. look for him to dominate another series for the Lakers on their way to the WCF!

what a weird argument island priest. Which of the players Kobe has faced in the finals is not a hall of famer?

Dwight Howard
Ray Allen
Kevin Garnett
Paul Pierce
Reggie Miller
Alan Iverson
Jason Kidd


The issue was not Pierce and his play today...It was KG being a no show...From what I watched, he was a non factor on defense and rebounding, and I don't think I even saw him make a basket...I haven't checked the box scores...but was it my timing and was gone from the TV when he did his work?

The 5 time nba champ vs the 2 time mvp. The 2 time finals mvp vs the 1 time finals mvp. Black Mamba vs The Chosen One. That is what world want to see finally. LA vs boston is stale man.

Memphis was impressive today, as they were throughout the first round, but counting out the Thunder after just one game seems ridiculously premature. OKC is a much bigger threat than the Spurs were, and I think OKC still has to be the favorite to advance.

Calling the Perkins trade a mistake after today is absurd. That was a great move by the Thunder (trading a benc player for a starter?) and they remain a very good team. Good teams lose home games in the playoffs from time to time, in case you forgot game 1 against the Hornets....

Right now the Griz are playing the best ball in the tournament and Zach Randolph is playing like the MVP of the league. They are not going to be an easy out for anyone.

OKC relies too much on Westbrook and his wild rushes to the hoop. He has tremendous athleticism but has not learned to temper it with some discretion. He is one of the league leaders in turnovers. Kendrick Perkins' lack of an offensive game is going to also bite OKC big time. ZBo and Marc Gasol are getting a free pass on defense as KP is no threat whatsoever. OKC is in trouble.

The Celtics looked rusty in the 2nd game. KG has got to do better for them in order to beat the Heat. 6 points and 9 rebounds is not going to cut it for Mr. trash-talking Garnett. However, will Miami's bench be able to keep up the long range shooting? Jones' 25 points, mainly on 3's, made this an easy game for Miami. It remains to be seen if the Heat can keep it up.


I don't know. I'm pretty sure the Cs are going to pay more attention to Jones now (how they'll do that is beyond me as they can't double him because of the obvious). If the Cs have to guard the Heat straight-up man to man, then that's a problem.

Despite how we did against the Meat in the practice season, I kinda want our Lakers to meet them in the Finals as playoffs tend to be a different story. It would taste so sweet to keep LBJ from getting a ring as Kobe gets his sixth against them.

"Historically, there have been consecutive 7 game series in the NBA Finals three (3) times: '49 & '50, '54 & '55 and '69 & '70. That's it. I suppose that if you believe in the Law of Averages, we're overdue. WAY overdue! That would be nice. Strictly from a statistical standpoint, without logic or reason, it is much more likely not to happen than it is to happen. That's why having a 7 game series last year in the Finals statistically DECREASES the chance of it happening this year. I actually hope it does happen. There is nothing better than a Game 7 in the NBA Finals! How many times did you re-watch it?

I disagree with you about this statement: "The problem with putting such a heavy emphasis on historical records is it does not tie in the present in any way." The truth is that it already has. Once again, PJ's team won Game 3 after being tied 1-1 and won the series (12-0 in that situation now). Once again, he closed out on the road in a Game 6 .. for the sixth consecutive time with THIS team. That is an historical trend. This "present" core group of players have been together for four (4) championship runs. You don't just toss that out the window and say that the three previous runs "does not tie into the present in any way." Of course it does. Never mind the experience that Phil Jackson draws from after three-peating on 3 prior occasions, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher also have experience to draw from. Of course that ties into the present.

By comparing PJ's three-peat regular season records all season long, I showed you a similarity of all those teams. In the end, 2 of them had 57-25 records, one went 58-24 and one was 62-20. Each and every one of those teams had at least one playoff series where they did NOT have HCA. This team, should it be so fortunate, is tracking just like the 1998 Bulls, who had HCA all the way until the NBA Finals, where they relinquished that to Utah. The Bulls won in 6.

I grasp your "every season is different and every team is different" counter to the numbers I have put out there. You choose to throw the historical data out the window; I choose to marvel at Phil Jackson's enormous success to fuel my optimism. There are no guarantees. That's why they play the games. I'm glad you got me to admit that. I didn't know I had it in me.

P.S.- You're not an engineer, are you?

Posted by: KobeMVP888 | April 30, 2011 at 04:47 PM"

The law of averages doesn't really apply to whether or not a game 7 will happen in a series. It depends on how evenly matched the two teams are. They are completely independent events. It works the same as my coin flip analogy. A coin has a 50/50 chance of landing on heads, but if you flip once and get a heads, you still have a 50/50 chance of receiving a heads on the next flip. If you do it 100 times, you'll likely end up with about 50 of each but from flip to flip, the odds do not change. If two evenly matched teams face each other in the finals, a 7th game could actually become very likely.

As for the 6 game win on the road against the Hornets, I thought it had a lot more to do with the fact that the Lakers are a much better team than the Hornets. That is what that stat requires in order to continue. His team has to be better than the other teams.

I am not throwing historical facts out the window but I prefer stats that tie in the present. Phil has those records for being nearly unbeatable once his team gets the lead or gains control but if Michael Jordan, Shaquille, Kobe, or another one of his key contributors had been lost for the series after a game 3, your stats would say his team is still equally as likely to win. That's where I think those stats fall short. If his players are all healthy but his team plays an opponent that is tougher than any team he has ever faced, those stats are also unreliable. If those stats were solely based on Phil's work and didn't require his teams to be better than the other teams, Jerry Buss could have saved a lot of money last offseason.


The issue was not Pierce and his play today...It was KG being a no show...From what I watched, he was a non factor on defense and rebounding, and I don't think I even saw him make a basket...I haven't checked the box scores...but was it my timing and was gone from the TV when he did his work?

Posted by: LEWSTRS | May 01, 2011 at 06:19 PM

I mentioned Kg needs to have a better game. Pierce didnt wake up until the 2nd half. Then gets ejected. Kg only took 9 shots. But I trust KG and Pierce will have a much better game start to finish. Im kinda glad Pierce got ejected, we probably werent gonna win that game anyway.

If anything, Im more confident after todays loss. Im sure we will pay more attention to Jones. And I dont think he will shoot that well anyway.

And Rondo needs to stay on the floor and not commit stupid fouls!!

LeBron has been choked in the playoffs a few times so far. He got swept by a future HOF Tim Dunkin and the Spurs in the Finals and has never been even to the Finals since then. Now he has Wade on his back. See if he can make it to the Finals without choking.



CIA assets bombed a mansion out of Islamabad. US has possession of his body, and DNA test confirms it's Bin Laden...This happened last week...President to have a press conference here shortly...

The US military, specifically, the Special Forces, got Obama, excuse me -- Osama. Let's get the facts straight.

Andrew Bynum is the key to the Lakers success now and for years to come. I work in a psychological field as a case manager, and I find it so refreshing to see a young athlete take a serious interest in self-growth, and value psychology as a tool for improving his game. I am starting to become a believer in Young Bynum. I just hope that he realizes that he is by far the biggest man on the court, and that his potential is limitless. He can learn from Kobe in the sense that he has reached the championship pinnacle at a young age, and through a dedication to be the best at his position, he could ultimately stand with the other Laker "giants" as one of the greatest centers ever to play the game.

I love this kid Bynum. Reading instead of playing video games. Way to go Bynum.


I doubt anyone got Bin Laden since 9/11 was an inside job and alledgedly killing the supposed trrorist and getting rid of the body reaks more of government coverup.



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