Tag:Andrew Bynum
Posted on: December 30, 2010 1:20 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:54 pm
 

Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard top NBA All-Star vote

The latest round of votes for the NBA All-Star game have been announced, and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Orlando Magic centerkobe-dwight Dwight Howard lead the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively. Posted by Ben Golliver

The NBA All-Star game fan voting process is one of the world's most elaborate popularity contests, and some familiar names top the latest round of this year's results, released today by the NBA.   Western Conference
In the Western Conference, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant leads the way, and he is the top overall vote-getter, clocking in at more than 1.1 million. The other current starters for the West include Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony and Houston Rockets center Yao Ming. Yao, of course, has played just five games so far this season due to injuries, and recently suffered a season-ending stress fracture in his ankle. Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who has also missed extensive time due to injuries this year, is in second place behind Yao. Yes, this makes no sense. Did the fans get it right?  Bryant and Durant are locks. You can quibble between Paul or Utah Jazz point guard Deron Williams, but Paul is a solid choice. MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzi is the biggest snub here, as he should certainly be in above Anthony. As for the center position, the ballot for that position is a mess and the West should probably just play four-on-five.
Eastern Conference

In the Eastern Conference, there's no question about which center is most deserving (and popular). Indeed, Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard leads the East in overall votes, at just under one million. He's joined by Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade and Boston Celtics guard Rajon RondoDid the fans get it right? 

Howard, James and Wade are all locks. There's a strong argument that Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose should be in ahead of Rondo, but I like Rondo here as well. As for Garnett, he probably deserves to get bumped so that New York Knicks power forward and MVP candidate Amar'e Stoudemire fills out the starting five. That's not as bad an oversight as Anthony over Nowitzki, but a little team diversity in the starting lineup never hurt anyone. Here's the full list of votes for the starters courtesy of an NBA press release.
Bryant, The Finals MVP last season, is the overall leader with 1,153,694 votes.In  the Western Conference, Bryant, a three-time All-Star MVP, who garnered the  honor  in 2002, 2007 and 2009, is followed at guard by the New Orleans Hornets’  Chris  Paul  (585,690).  Kevin  Durant,  a  member of last year’s All-NBA First Team, paces forwards in the West (735,521), with the Nuggets’ Carmelo  Anthony  (602,516) second. The Houston Rockets’ Yao Ming (637,527) is  the  leading  vote-getter  among  Western  Conference centers, with the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum (376,283) placing second.
Howard,  the  leading  vote-getter  in  the Eastern Conference with 988,572 votes, paces centers in the East, followed by the Boston Celtics’ Shaquille O’Neal  (410,663).  James,  a two-time All-Star MVP (2006, 2008), leads all Eastern  Conference  forwards  with 969,459 votes, followed by the Celtics’ Kevin  Garnett  (712,555), MVP of the 2003 All-Star Game. The Heat’s Dwyane Wade  paces  all  guards  with  938,402  votes; the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo is second among guards in the East (777,310).
The 2011 NBA All-Star game will be played on February 20 in Los Angeles, California.
Posted on: December 28, 2010 10:10 am
Edited on: December 28, 2010 10:10 am
 

Shootaround 12.28.10: Tweaked

Rose having a tough time in the mid-range, Dirk and Horford to get scans, Bynum still brimming, and Steve Francis bids ... whatever the Chinese word for goodbye is to China. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Derrick Rose is having a hard time in the midrange game, mostly because he doesn't trust his jumper yet, even though it's improved. He's especially improved in 3-point shooting, but continues to try floaters from mid-range. 

Dirk Nowitzki will have an MRI this morning on his injured knee. So try not to scare your Maverick fan friends too much this morning.  They're going to be a little jumpy.

Al Horford will also have an MRI on his hand this morning. We'll keep you updated on both of their statuses. 

Andrew Bynum is still "brimming with potential" apparently. At this point I think it's better to say he's brimming with disappointment. Or, "brimming with doctor's appointments."

And just like that... Steve Francis was gone. From China.

Fan sensation Jeremy Lin will likely spend some time in the D-League. 

The sixth-man who was traded for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar now is a restaurant mogul

One thing of vital importance to the Celtics? Transition defense, because it's feast or famine for them.

The Rockets and Bobcats are both in talks with Houston about acquiring the Yao Ming salary dump. 

Nets blog Nets Are Scorching asks the question: "LeBron James: Evil or Stupid?"

Posted on: December 24, 2010 10:01 am
Edited on: December 24, 2010 11:26 am
 

NBA stocking stuffed on Christmas Day with games

Tis the season for Heat-Lakers, Celtics-Magic and more as we preview the NBA Christmas Day extravaganza.
Posted by NBA F&R Blog Staff



With five games on the NBA schedule Christmas Day, we walk you through each one, letting you know how to fit in your basketball with your sugarplums (we don't even know what those are, just go with it). 

Miami Heat at Los Angeles Lakers, 5 p.m. ET

When the Lakers and Heat tip off Saturday afternoon at Staples Center, their goal will not have anything to do with the other team. Forget sending messages, staking claim, or becoming top dog in conference (an impossibility for both teams considering their records relative to the conference leaders). This is about finding out about themselves. 

The Lakers have drifted after a stunning start, losing to teams they have no business losing to and doing so on a regular basis. Even the win streak they peeled off came against exceptionally weak opponents like the Wizards, Sixers, and Pacers. In reality, this is their first big test against a contending opponent since their loss to the Bulls two weeks ago in Chicago. No one really doubts the Lakers, not yet. But a loss on Christmas Day in a major hyped game against the Heat would definitely put a damper on Christmas and plant some seeds of doubt about their ability to simply breeze through to another title. Beating LeBron and company allows them to send a message: "Don't confuse our coasting with weakness. We've got our fingers on the switch ready to flip."

The Heat on the other hand, are in a no-win position. Should they beat L.A., downing the defending champs with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles, critics will simply say what they've said every time the Heat have managed to win this season: it doesn't matter until the playoffs. (Note that when the Heat lose, this same approach is not employed; suddenly the games matter when the Heat lose "meaningless" games.) Should the Heat lose, well, that just means they're definitely not ready for prime time and that Kobe is still the real King. But testing themsevles against LA give them an opportunity to see where they're at and if the progress they've made is real in any sense. Beating the Lakers wouldn't be a real victory in terms of contending status, but would at least give them a measure of how good this team can be. 

So how does this matchup shake out, exactly?

L.A.'s interior defense is considerably bolstered by the return of Andrew Bynum, and they're going to have considerable advantages inside. The Heat have no one to counter Bynum or Gasol inside, as Chris Bosh is simply not good enough to slow down Pau Gasol if he gets touches. Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, and Kobe Bryant should have their hands full on defense in this game, and in fact, Bryant may want to take a backseat on offense just so he can keep Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in check on the perimeter. This isn't to say Kobe can't get it done on the offensive end, but it's a strategy that would play both to the Lakers' strengths and the Heat's weaknesses. Somehow I doubt Bryant will opt for that. 

Bryant needs to be careful though. If he decides to come out guns slinging and the triggers aren't perfectly aligned, he's going to start the fast break for the Heat. And that's their bread and butter. The Lakers need to slow this game down and force Miami to beat them in the halfcourt set, with Carlos Arroyo and James Jones taking jumpers. Do that, and Miami will wither and die on the vine. But get into an up-down type game with them, and the youth of Miami may create some problems for the Lakers.


Bench play will probably be huge in this game, since the Lakers have such a phenomenal advantage. Shannon Brown versus Mario Chalmers. Matt Barnes versus Juwan Howard. Steve Blake versus Eddie House, should Erik Spoelstra elect to turn to the veteran. The Lakers are dominant in this regard and should be able to extend leads or close deficits while multiple members of the Big 3 for Miami rest.

This isn't a game about sending a message to a possible Finals opponent. The Heat just aren't there, yet. But it is about proving something to themselves. For the Lakers, it's a firm conviction that they can turn it on whenever they need. For the Heat, it's that they may finally be ready to play with the big boys, something they have yet to show this season.


Should be merry and bright, indeed.

Boston Celtics at Orlando Magic (2:30 p.m ET)

The Magic just started clicking a bit with their new, revamped roster with a big win over the streaking Spurs. Now they get another chance to bust a big streak. 

The sizzling Celtics come to town riding a 14-game streak and playing as the best team in the Eastern Conference. Boston is doing damage behind a devastating defense and an offense that scores consistently throughout the entire 48. If Orlando expects to hang with Boston, the Magic will have to get production from their new line of scorers. Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson will have to provide Dwight Howard some major help. If Orlando doesn't get that, the Celtics will feast on the Magic's stalled offense and probably cruise to a 15th straight win. 

What Boston does so well defensively is that it funnels the opposing offense into becoming one dimensional. The Celtics take what you want to do and use it against you. Orlando wants to use dribble penetration to clear lanes for Howard and also to free shooters. Boston's fine with letting you try and do that, but they're just going to close those lanes off and shut down the shooters. This is a game where Howard will have to play big on the inside of Orlando wants to play with the Celtics. 

However, the new Magic have options that they didn't have before. This feels like it could be a big opportunity for Arenas to really break out offensively or for Turkoglu to get some of that isolation play going where he drains step-back after step-back. The Celtics can play with Orlando if it's scoring, but the Magic have the players to put points up in a hurry. Boston wants a game in the high 80s, while the Magic probably want to push the pace a bit more and score in triple-digits. 

This game will likely come down to who gets to play their game the longest, and also who plays the other guy's game better. The Celtics are tested and typically thrive in these situations, but the Magic may be gelling a bit. There's definitely a chance here to play streak-buster a second time for them.

Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks (12 p.m. EST)

A rematch of the November 4th Knicks win, this game features two teams still trying to gain an identity. After a long impressive win streak, the Knicks dropped three straight to Boston (understandable, especially on a buzzer beater), Miami (understandable, even in a blowout), and Cleveland (not understandable in any universe ever created). Then they go out and drop the Thunder this week, just to keep us on our toes.  The Bulls? We know they're good. But Joakim Noah is out with a hand injury, which changes much of their dynamic.  This game could wind up being a preview of a first-round playoff series, and we're going to see a lot of familiar themes most likely. Primarily that Carlos Boozer can't guard Amar'e Stoudemire in any impactful way, and that the Knicks are going to be run through by the saber that is Derrick Rose, especially on the pick and roll. 

This should be a fun one to open the day with, in a fast paced affair featuring two good point guards (and one elite), two good power forwards (and one elite), along with capable supporting players. The Knicks will need to send help in the form of wing defenders when Rose drives off the pick and roll, or he's going to get to the basket all day long. They have to take their chances with Kyle Korver and Luol Deng on the perimeter. The Bulls on the other hand will need to flash help at Stoudemire to get him off the shot-fake elbow-jumper that he's killing teams with this season. Tom Thibodeau versus Mike D'Antoni also means a classic clash of styles. 

Denver Nuggets at Oklahoma City Thunder (8:00 p.m. ET)

The primetime Christmas Day game lost some of its luster with Carmelo Anthony missing due to a recent death in his family. Obviously, basketball has taken a backseat for Carmelo and rightly so. But despite his absence, there's still an important Northwest Division game to be played.

The Thunder are right atop the division with the Nuggets just a few back. Oklahoma City hasn't been the most consistent team in the world but with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook playing as the most dangerous tandem in basketball, they don't have to be. Denver will look to run and get hot from outside to keep pace with the Thunder's big guns, but OKC's improving defense will be a key in shutting off a big Nuggets run.

The game may not have the same star power and spotlight head-to-head matchup of Carmelo and KD, but it's still something worth watching.

Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET)

Four out of five big-time match-ups isn't bad. Christmas Day's nightcap is easily the least glamorous affair on the schedule, with the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers, two teams that have battled injuries for the last two seasons, facing off in California.

Blazers guard Brandon Roy and center Joel Przybilla won't play, and Portland will continue to run things offensively through its make-shift centerpieces, LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews. The duo has stepped up big in Roy's, as has reserve guard Rudy Fernandez. The Blazers just beat the Warriors in Portland last week, so what will be different this time around? For starters, Portland always struggles on the road against the Warriors, and Golden State point guard Stephen Curry, as of this writing, is expected to make his return from a nagging ankle injury that has kept him out since Dec. 8. In Curry's absence, it's been all Monta Ellis all the time for the Warriors, as Golden State's leading scorer has maintained his big numbers from last season (25.6 points, 5.3 assists, 3.5 rebounds), while improving his field goal (from 44.9% to 48.0%) and three-point shooting (from 33.8% to 36.4%) numbers. Ellis had a chance to beat the Blazers at the buzzer in Portland, but it rimmed out. He's hit for 30+ four times in December, and could easily make it five on Saturday, assuming that he's out for a little Christmas revenge.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 8:40 am
 

Shootaround 12.20.10: Trades, injuries and LeBron

Posted by Royce Young
  • Andrew Bynum says he's still feeling pain in his knee: "It's not going to change. It's nothing to be nervous about. I have to expect that that's going to happen. I can't wait to start working with my trainer (Sean Zarzana) again, so I can get some explosion back. I feel like I can't really jump right now."
  • Rashard Lewis doesn't seem like enough back for Gilbert Arenas. But Michael Lee of the Washington Post says that should've been expected: “The Wizards weren’t going to get “equal value” — or whatever that may be — at this time. And, unless they were willing to take back Baron Davis — which they weren’t — the Wizards couldn’t find another comparable point guard in the deal. So they had to settle on adding another forward to a team that is now overwhelmed at the position, with the return of Josh Howard."
  • Jermaine O'Neal wants to retire a Pacer: "Just because I'm not there anymore doesn't mean all the memories are forgotten ... If it wasn't for the Pacers, the organization and the community nobody would have probably known who I was. Anywhere in the world I go, they know me because of my Pacers days."
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel : “Blame LeBron, Magic fans, if it helps. He’s been catching Heat (and that wasn’t even a forced pun) since he left the Cavs. Folks everywhere said he was at fault for everything from the Obama tax cuts to Sal Alosi to Miley Cyrus. Those are just coincidences. Not this. Sign up for our new Varsity Sports newsletter and get high school sports updates delivered right to your inbox. He’s a serial home-wrecker, fracturing franchises like Godzilla in an old sci-fi movie. He not only laid waste to the city of Cleveland, but he’s the supernatural force that eventually doomed Orlando, leading to the Magic’s break-up. Blame LeBron. If he stays in Cleveland or goes anywhere else but Miami, F-L-A, the Magic’s pre-trade woes aren’t quite as magnified or exposed. They wouldn’t look as if they were going backward so fast."
  • LeBron gets why Orlando brought back Hedo: “I’ve thought that it was surprising when Turk (Hedo Turkoglu) wasn’t brought back  the year after they beat us [Cleveland Cavaliers]. I just thought what Turk created for their team, that point-four created everything. He always created a mismatch and that was part of the reason why they beat us. There were times I would switch off onto Turk and they would go to Rashard (Lewis). Sometimes I would go on Rashard and they would go to Turk.  We were too small on the perimeter during those years … I know they’re happy to have him back. It’s gonna be different, it’s going to be a different transition because I know when you break up a team and bring guys in it takes a while. We’ll see what happens.”
Posted on: December 15, 2010 12:22 pm
 

The Game Changer: Denver runs away late

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: DENVER WORKS ORLANDO IN THE FOURTH

There are nights, where the Denver Nuggets look like one of the two or three best teams in the West. Unfortunately for the Magic, this was one of those nights.

The Nuggets can explode on you with offense in bunches, but what won them this game was quality defense down the stretch. Orlando couldn't score and on the flip side, couldn't stop Denver.

With six minutes left, it was a one-point edge for the Nuggets and it looked like we were going to have a tight finish. Instead, Denver closed the game on a 19-3 run and completely bullied the Magic.

Playing without Chauncey Billups, George Karl got creative with his lineups, using a combination Anthony Carter, J.R. Smith, Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony and Nene down the stretch. He mixed a number of small-ball lineups in against the Magic, playing Carmelo at power forward for a lot of the night. Which meant Carmelo had Rashard Lewis on him, which then meant Carmelo abused the Magic's four-man. Melo finished with 35 points and pretty much took over in the second half.

But for the Magic it was really more of the same. Late in the game, each offensive possession was almost hard to watch. The Magic ran three things: 1) Jameer Nelson dribble up and after zero passes, 3-point shot. 2) Dump down to Howard, Nuggets double, Howard forces shot. And 3) 15 passes around the perimeter with no one making any progress at the basket, eventually ending the possession with a contested jumper.

When pushed, Orlando just doesn't know what to do offensively late. The first three quarters was all about the sharp ball movement, quick shots and most importantly, making shots. In the fourth, the Nuggets were the ones doing that.

I imagine Stan Van Gundy is going to yell loudly at his team more about their porous defense down the stretch more than their offense. Both were an issue for them, but it didn't help things playing a loaded offensive team like the Nuggets. Denver got it rolling late and the Magic just didn't have the guns to keep up.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Monta Ellis went all 48 minutes for the Warriors in their 108-99 win over the Timberwolves. Ellis dropped 34 points on 13-24 shooting, dished out six assists and grabbed four rebounds.

Carmelo Anthony dropped 35 on the Magic, hitting 14-21 from the field while also grabbing 11 rebounds. A gold star for him indeed. Plus, he almost got traded!

J.J. Redick was a bright spot for the Magic, scoring 29 points on 9-12 shooting.

Charlie Villanueva had 23 points, 11 rebounds and a +29 for the Pistons.

Kris Humphries in a loss: 1-10 from the field, two points, 13 rebounds in 21 minutes. I can't decide if that's good or bad.

BYNUM'S BACK

Andrew Bynum is back and his return was... normal. About what you might expect from a guy playing in his first game after knee surgery. Seventeen minutes, seven points (1-5 from the field), four rebounds and two blocks for the Laker big man. Nothing special, but certainly reason to be encouraged. Especially because Pau Gasol only played 31 minutes, something Bynum is really going to help get under control.

Bynum didn't have to factor in that much for the Lakers though as they cruised past the John Wall-less Wizards 103-89. And that was with only scoring 11 points the fourth quarter. One semi-crazy stat from the game though: The Wizards pulled in 19 offensive boards and had 16 more attempts than the Lakers. Obviously they didn't take advantage of those extra possessions, but something to note regardless.

THAT'S RANDOM

Led by a bench that had plus/minuses of +29, +25, +23 and +20, the Detroit Pistons absolutely walloped the Atlanta Hawks. How in the heck did that happen?

Villanueva led things with 23 points and Tracy McGrady finally did something, throwing up 16 points in 26 minutes. The Piston bench outscored the Hawks second unit 46-14.

After the Hawks outscored Detroit by nine in the third, the game was close heading to the fourth with the Pistons only up three. But the Hawks imploded in the fourth. The Pistons took the quarter 39-19 and punctuated the victory with a buzzer-beating 3 from Villanueva to win by 23.

DeMar DeRozan DEDUNKING

Three things I love about this dunk: 1) The way DeRozan cocks his arm back just a little farther than usual to add a little extra umph to it; 2) Solomon Alabi's completely weird reaction to it as he stands there making  face while smacking his gum and 3) the gratuitous shot of Michael Jordan after it.

PARTING THOUGHT

The 76ers beat the Nets 82-77, snapping an eight-game road losing streak. But here's something interesting about the 9-15 Sixers: They have a positive point differential of 0.5. The Rockets are the only other losing team that has a positive point differential.
Posted on: December 13, 2010 8:25 pm
 

Andrew Bynum says he's "definitely back" Tuesday

Posted by Royce Young

Finally, it looks like Andrew Bynum is really coming back. The L.A. Times passes along that Bynum told reporters after practice Monday, "I'm definitely playing tomorrow."

Bynum has started practicing the past few weeks, finally moving ahead to five-on-five actual action recently. He had arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason and has been critcized over the way he's handled his rehab.

He scheduled the knee surgery later in the summer because he went to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and also some vacation time in Europe. So instead of rehabbing over the summer, his July 28 surgery putting him coming back right up against the beginning of training camp.

As things go with Bynum, his recovery wasn't swift, meaning he's missed the Lakers' first 24 games. Pau Gasol has picked up the slack moving to center, but he's also averaging a career-high 39.3 minutes per game.

Phil Jackson said Bynum won't be going all-out once he returns and that he might only play around 15 minutes. Jackson had been on record saying multiple times that Bynum would start in his first game, but changed his mind after talking things over with L.A.'s training staff. Bynum will determine whether he starts or comes off the bench, Jackson said.

Bynum averaged 15 points and 8.3 rebounds in 30.4 minutes a game last season. Not to say the Lakers have struggled without him, but obviously they aren't the same team with him sidelined. He's not going to be at full strength early on, but the Lakers are planning for him to get back into shape slowly. They're not concerned with December production from Bynum. More for what he brings in April and May.

Posted on: December 13, 2010 8:06 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:33 pm
 

Shootaround 12.13.10: Nuggets GM talks Carmelo

The Denver Nuggets spin with the Carmelo Anthony situation, Avery Johnson says Kobe Bryant could be better than Michael Jordan, the Miami Heat could let an asset go to waste, the Sacramento Kings owners whoop it up while the Los Angeles Clippers owner trash talks his own players and two Western Conference big men are on the mend. Posted by Ben Golliver
  • Denver Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri tells the New York media that he feels the situation with Carmelo Anthony is "promising." Writes the New York Post: "Ujiri told a throng of reporters that Anthony's sentiment is different than when he came aboard. 'I think it's encouraging that he says that (he's open to re-signing)," Ujiri said. "From when I got on board until now, that's encouraging. We have had a lot communication. "I'm sure everybody thought he'd be gone at training camp," Ujiri added. "It's promising that he's still here."
  • Yahoo! reports that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been taunting his players from his courtside seats during games, including point guard Baron Davis. What a mess. Here's Davis' quote on the matter: “There’s nothing I can say. I have no comment on that. You just get to this point where it’s a fight every day. It’s a fight. You’re fighting unnecessary battles. I’m fighting unnecessary battles."
  • Roundball Mining Company takes a minute to reflect on Denver Nuggets coach George Karl's 1000th victory. The site highlights a turning point. "As time passed, Karl seemed to find a healthy balance between caring enough on the court and not caring too much.  His passion appeared to return, largely thanks to the trade of Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups."
  • New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson on Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, as quoted by the New York Post. "[Bryant] could arguably be 1. In some polls, he'll be 2," the Nets coach said yesterday about the players he has seen since he entered the NBA in 1988. "He could be 1-A and Jordan can be 1-B or Jordan, some polls they'll be flipped. Fortunately I had a chance to play against both of them and now played and coached against Kobe. And boy, sometimes they're looking like the same player."
  • The Sun-Sentinel reports that there is a good chance the Miami Heat will allow their Disabled Player Exception, acquired from power forward Udonis Haslem's long-term injury, to go unused.
  • Here is a hilarious behind-the-scenes visit from FoxSports.com with the Kings owners during the Miami Heat's recent trip to Sacramento. The Maloofs run the gamut of emotions throughout the course of the game, eventually concluding that LeBron James is better than Kobe Bryant.
  • Speaking of Western Conference big men returning from injury, the Deseret News reports that Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur could be "within a week or two."
Posted on: December 5, 2010 4:01 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:16 pm
 

Lakers' Andrew Bynum goes through 5-on-5 practice

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum completes a five-on-five practice for the first time during his knee rehabilitation. Posted by Ben Golliver andrew-bynum The major milestone to look for in any rehabilitating player's return from injury is simple: when is he allowed to return to full five-on-five practice work? That date usually precedes a return to NBA action by a week or two, and represents the time when the player is deemed healthy enough for the physical pounding that will occur in regular game action. Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, one of the NBA's premier young big men, has been working his way back gradually from an offseason knee surgery. On Saturday, Lakers coach Phil Jackson told the Los Angeles Times that Bynum went through a five-on-five practice for the first time.
"He said he was tired, which is natural," Jackson said. "That's going to happen."
Bynum, who didn't talk to the media after practice, has said he'd like to be ready to play around Dec. 19 at Toronto, which would be the last of a six-game Lakers trip. "He said there was just one moment where he had a little twinge," Jackson said. "But other than that, he was OK."
The fatigue thing isn't a big deal, as rehabbing players, especially big men, are reintroduced into the rotation gradually, allowing them to build up their endurance. Bynum's return is welcome news for the Lakers, who have dealt with injuries to frontline players Pau Gasol (hamstring) and Theo Ratliff (who had surgery on his knee earlier this season).  Due in part to the injuries, and a stretch of uncharacteristically poor play that resulted in four straight losses, the Lakers have dropped to 14-6 on the season, good for fourth place in the Western Conference. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com