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Bynum is bullish on the block

November 17, 2008|Broderick Turner | Turner is a Times staff writer.

The basketball hasn't come Andrew Bynum's way much in the first eight games.

He would like for that to change some.

Mostly, Bynum wants to change his approach when he does get the ball down low.

He figures that as the center for the Lakers, he can be more productive if he is more assertive.

"I really haven't been attacking, so I'm going to start attacking on the block," Bynum said. "Over all the games, I really haven't scored much on the block play."

Bynum is fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 9.9 points per game. Last season, before he got injured, Bynum averaged 13.1 points.

He has been a presence on defense, averaging three blocks per game, second-best in the NBA.

But his offense has been coming slow. He's getting only 8.25 shots per game.

"I'm just not being aggressive," Bynum said. "I think I need to go out there and be aggressive and assert myself on the block. I don't think I've even scored with a post move yet this season."

Most of Bynum's offense has come on screen-and-roll plays and lob passes.

He wants to become more of a force inside.

"So, I'm going to try to attack the basket a little bit more," Bynum said.

Forgotten man

Two seasons ago, Luke Walton was the starting small forward, his future looking bright enough that the Lakers rewarded him with a six-year, $30-million contract.

Two years later, Walton has become the forgotten man in the Lakers' deep, talented rotation. He is playing 3.7 minutes per game, fewest on the team.

Walton averaged 23.4 minutes last season, appearing in 74 games, averaging 7.2 points.

Now, he can't get in the rotation, and that pains Coach Phil Jackson.

"Luke is the one guy I worry about a little bit because he's going to have to stay in shape without playing himself into shape by practicing himself there, because there are minutes that could be available," Jackson said.

Injury update

Derek Fisher didn't participate in part of Sunday's practice because of injured ribs he suffered during Friday night's game against the Detroit Pistons.

Fisher had issues breathing and turning during practice, but he is expected to play against the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Vladimir Radmanovic suffered a left thigh contusion at the end of practice Sunday. His status is more uncertain.

If Radmanovic is not able to start Tuesday, Jackson said he is leaning toward starting Trevor Ariza at small forward.

Sasha Vujacic, who has a sprained right ankle, practiced Sunday.

Back to work

The Lakers were back at practice after having taken Saturday off.

They talked some about their defense -- or lack thereof -- in the 106-95 loss to the Pistons.

It was a day for conditioning, especially considering the Lakers will play five games in eight days starting Tuesday night.

"We got ourselves back in rhythm so we can shoot the ball," Jackson said.

The Lakers are making 44.2% of their field-goal attempts, something that is an issue for Jackson.

The coach said he does not have a theory on why the Lakers have shot the ball so poorly.

"No, I don't," Jackson said. "We talked a little bit about the rhythm of shots and comfort zone."


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