Center Andrew Bynum is clear on this: He'll play in Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight.
Beyond that, the key to the Los Angeles Lakers’ interior defense – and perhaps the team’s title chances – can’t make any promises.
“I’m 100 percent sure that I’m playing come Sunday,” the Lakers’ 7-foot center said Saturday.
Bynum had fluid drained from his right knee after Boston evened the series 2-2 with a 96-89 win Thursday night. He was encouraged that the swelling had not returned since then. He had fluid drained from the same knee just before the series and the swelling reappeared.
“It’s going to come back after Game 5, for sure,” Bynum said. “It’s guaranteed. But as long as I’m able to be out there and be effective, that’s what counts. And I know this game is the biggest game because it can change the whole series.”
Bynum played 28 minutes in the opener, 39 in the second game and 29 in the third. He had 40 points and 22 rebounds as the Lakers opened a 2-1 series lead. But he played 12 minutes in Game 4 and sat out the last 14 minutes. His totals: two points, three rebounds, no blocks,
Without him, the Lakers let a 62-60 lead after three quarters slip away as Boston power forward Glen Davis took advantage of Bynum’s absence to score nine points in the fourth quarter.
“We had the lead and we kind of, so to speak, choked,” Bynum said.
Bynum has a torn meniscus and a bone bruise in his knee. Surgery is scheduled for July.
Celtics guard Ray Allen missed Saturday’s media session because of a family matter. … Tom Izzo’s week-plus courtship by the Cleveland Cavaliers continued with no resolution — and no timetable for a decision from Michigan State’s coach, who is considering a five-year, $30 million contract offer from the team to leave college for the NBA. … Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade said he will not participate in this summer’s World Championships, citing a busy offseason schedule, including his impending free agency as well as child-custody and divorce cases in Chicago.