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Bynum responds to wake-up call

December 10, 2007|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

Andrew Bynum had already ditched the stomach flu. He hoped to leave behind a few nondescript games as well.

All he did Sunday was match his career high with 20 points in the Lakers' 123-113 victory over Golden State.

It was safe to say he was feeling better, mentally and physically, after a herky-jerky sequence in which he averaged 6.7 points over a three-game span, sat out another game because he was ill and, on top of it, heard from Coach Phil Jackson, who on Saturday criticized the 20-year-old center's fitness.

"I just had to give him a little bit of a jolt the other day because he wasn't at practice on time to work with Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] when he's supposed to work with Kareem," Jackson said.

Jackson was otherwise complimentary Sunday while providing the latest in-depth analysis of Bynum's on-court development.

"One of the things about Andrew is that he's completing at the offense end," Jackson said. "He's dunking, and we want him to keep working on his shot so we have a target to go in to. He's a good passer in there and he sees the court and he's willing to pass the ball, but he's also got to be willing to score out of that position.

"That's a great penetration position. To work on his offensive moves is going to be really important for him to be a threat. He's got a real good touch, he's got nice hands. Those things should start to come together."

Jackson has already made clear his disdain for the league's recent decision to attach microphones to coaches during games.

It looks as if it will be his turn Thursday to be miked up when TNT televises the Lakers' game against San Antonio.

Jackson was watching a TNT game over the weekend in which coaches were interviewed before the start of the second and fourth quarters by sideline reporter Craig Sager.

"I thought they all rolled over," he said. "Craig Sager had an iridescent suit on and no one said, 'You're blinding me.' [Utah Coach] Jerry Sloan had a chance to nail him. His tie was flaming in the camera. You needed sunglasses to talk to him."

TV networks are hoping to interview coaches before they get to their huddles between quarters. Jackson didn't think it would be difficult with him.

"They know I'm never in my huddle," he said, smiling.

Luke Walton sat out Sunday's game after suffering a mild sprain in his right ankle during Friday's practice. Walton tested out the ankle at Sunday morning's shoot-around but couldn't cut or stop to his liking. He said he would play Thursday against San Antonio.


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