Four years into his NBA career, Andrew Bynum still is trying to make it through his first full postseason.
The oft-injured Los Angeles Lakers center went through a limited practice Wednesday for the first time since having his balky right knee drained on Monday.
“It didn’t really help,” he said. “As soon as I drained it, about 12 hours later, all the fluid came back.”
As a result, the swelling that has plagued Bynum isn’t any better, either. His big black knee brace remains a constant companion, as does the pain in his knee.
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“It’s going to be there when I come down from jumping, push off laterally, missed shot, trying to go get a rebound after the fact,” he said. “The muscle is kind of shutting down because of the swelling, so it’s tough to jump and do everything at your maximum level.”
Still, Bynum is determined to try, especially because he was helpless to stop the Boston Celtics’ pummeling of the Lakers in the NBA Finals two years ago. He was hurt and only along for the bus ride back to the hotel after the Celtics won the title on their home court.
“He’s going to give everything he’s got again, just like he’s been doing,” fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol said.
STAY FOR THE FOOD?
One of the Cavaliers’ most famous fans is hoping the way to LeBron James’ heart is through his stomach.
Cleveland native Michael Symon, one of Food Network’s Iron Chefs, has offered to go to James’ house once a month and cook a meal for the MVP’s family and friends if he re-signs as a free agent with the Cavaliers.
RAPTORS HIRE CARLESIMO
The Toronto Raptors hired veteran NBA coach P.J. Carlesimo as an assistant.
Carlesimo joins assistants Alex English, Marc Iavaroni, Micah Nori, Eric Hughes and Alvin Williams on coach Jay Triano’s staff with the Raptors.
Carlesimo was fired by Oklahoma City on Nov. 22, 2008, after the Thunder started 1-12.
STAY COOL, KENDRICK
Lakers coach Phil Jackson is known for playing mind games against opponents.
But Celtics center Kendrick Perkins maintains that he won’t be baited into losing his cool on the court when the teams tangle in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, which start today.
“They might try something, but it’s not going to work,” Perkins said. “I’ve got a lot of people reminding me to stay calm, so it’s pretty cool.”
If Perkins happens to forget and draws another technical foul, he will be given a one-game suspension. Under league rules, players automatically earn the suspension after picking up their seventh technical during the postseason.
Perkins was ejected after he picked up his sixth and seventh technical fouls against the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Upon further review, his second technical was rescinded the day after the game, leaving him with six techs heading into today.
Given the physical nature of his team, Celtics coach Doc Rivers believes it is “very likely” Perkins will end up being suspended.
While most fans are fixated on the storied history between the Lakers and the Celtics, one of the participants in this year’s NBA Finals downplayed what has been one of the greatest rivalries in sports.
Celtics veteran forward Rasheed Wallace, who won an NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004, didn’t find anything sexy about the matchup between the two franchises that have won a combined 32 titles, the most of any two teams in the league.
“It’s another game,” Wallace said during the team’s media session on Wednesday. “It’s nothing big, nothing real special about it.