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Mike Brown expects to play Andrew Bynum 34 minutes against Denver

Once Lakers center Andrew Bynum steps on the court Saturday against the Denver Nuggets, he expects he will "be a little bit winded."

Too bad.

Despite Bynum serving a four-game suspension related to his forearm shove on Dallas guard J.J. Barea in the 2011 playoffs, Lakers Coach Mike Brown plans to maintain the 34-minute regimen he envisioned at the beginning of the season. 

"He better be ready," Brown said. "Obviously if he can't go, I'll take him out. But there's no easing into anything."

The thought process involves Brown's belief that will expedite two things: how Bynum adjusts to a new offensive and defensive system and how his teammates adapt to playing around him. In the first four games, Brown featured a three-man frontcourt rotation involving Pau Gasol at starting center, Josh McRoberts at power forward and Troy Murphy coming off the bench.

Meanwhile, Bynum has practiced with the team, appeared in two preseason games and traveled on the Lakers' lone road game at Sacramento. But his suspension barred him from attending any of the games and participating in any pregame warmups at the respective arena. Even though Bynum acknowledged his conditioning limitations, he said, "As many minutes I can play, I'll be happy to get."

"Defensively, I feel good," Bynum said. "The only difference for me is showing and getting back to the basket. Everything else is relatively the same. Offensively, there's a lot of changes and things I still need to get accustomed to. It's studying."


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--Mark Medina

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