Ball Don't Lie - NBA



Andrew Bynum(notes) either had to undergo a painful procedure to drain the fluid from his injured right knee in order to reduce swelling, or sit out Sunday's crucial Game 5. Bynum chose the procedure, and coupled with the extra day of rest between games, the Laker center is looking to steady Los Angeles' iffy interior defense.

The injury, a torn meniscus, "is frustrating," Bynum said on Saturday after Laker practice. "Especially during the series. But I'm doing okay. The draining worked, and on Sunday I'm going to be ready to go."

Bynum will also undergo further treatment on Saturday night, and reaffirmed that he will have to go under the knife soon after the season ends.

Lakers guard Derek Fisher(notes), in particular, seemed particularly grateful for Bynum's ability to play through the pain.

"He's made the ultimate sacrifice and tried to pay the ultimate price. As a professional basketball player, your commodity is your body. So for him to take the steps that he's taking to try and help us win, I think that says a lot about who he is and what his purpose is with our team. We're very appreciative of the effort he's given us so far. So if he can or cannot play, he's done enough to put us in position to figure out a way to win two out of three games. That's what being on a team is about, and like I said, we're very appreciative of the effort he's given us so far."

After struggling mightily for most of the series, and saving his most ineffective turn for the fourth quarter of Game 4's lost, Lakers forward Lamar Odom(notes) seems ready to turn things around; something that has to be good news to Laker fans, especially after the way Odom shirked responsibility on Tuesday night.

Pointing out that he "watched a lot of film" following Game 4, Odom says that he's "found out some things I need to do to kind of get myself going offensively so I can attack these guys from all over the court.  I'm going to try to rebound as much as possible, push it."

Finally, Odom appears to understand just how important his strong play is. "I'm going to have to play much better than I've played in this series," he said on Saturday, "for us to win tomorrow."

A few minutes after joking that he was "miserable," Kobe Bryant(notes) took a step back to exude a little warmth, and lend a little insight into what, exactly, wets his whistle.

The Finals, he said, are "always fun.  The challenge of them is what makes it fun. It's the match‑ups from game to game. You win one game, lose the next game. Those kind of series are always fun to be a part of because the Finals is and should be the ultimate test."

To hear Doc Rivers tell it, he may not be around for many more Finals, telling the media he'd reevaluate his future with the Celtics in the offseason based around a desire to see his children playing sports. "The kids," he said, "are the issue each year. I've got to see them play at some point."

Though, if allowed an editorial comment, it might be the fact that Kevin Garnett(notes), Rasheed Wallace(notes), and Paul Pierce(notes) aren't kids any more that could be the biggest issue at hand.

And Phil Jackson, because he's Phil Jackson, could not help but get in one sly dig at the referees, while discussing Kendrick Perkins'(notes) defense on Pau Gasol(notes).

Perkins, Jackson noted has "got the ability to displace Pau," which is important, "even though that's not part of the standards of the game."

Illegal or not, Gasol "has to step out and use his speed and quickness as opposed to perhaps post‑up position and size," if he wants to win that particular pairing. Of course, if Bynum's knee allows him to contribute and play regular minutes, Perkins might not get a chance to play his part in going against "the standards of the game."

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