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Lakers' Andrew Bynum says despite his surge, knee is still bothering him

He says there's a bit of fluid in his right knee and he's taking medication, but he's trying to put forth a lot of energy. He has dominated in rebounding and blocked shots since break.

March 17, 2011|By Broderick Turner
  • Lakers center Andrew Bynum has managed to be an shot-blocking and rebounding force for the Lakers even though he's still dealing with a lingering knee injury.
Lakers center Andrew Bynum has managed to be an shot-blocking and rebounding… (Ronald Martinez / Getty…)

Here's a scary thought for the rest of the NBA — and perhaps even Lakers fans.

The recent surge by center Andrew Bynum — the uptick in rebounding and shot-blocking and dominating play by the 7-footer since the All-Star break — has taken place while he remains less than 100% healthy.

Bynum said he's having issues with his right knee. He missed the first 24 games this season recovering from off-season surgery on that knee.

He also missed a game this season with a sore left knee.

"I have a little bit of fluid," Bynum said about his right knee. "I'm still taking medication. I'll let you all know when I get off that, and it'll be fine."

Bynum then smiled — something he has been doing a lot of lately.

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Bynum has averaged 12.9 rebounds — with a career-high-tying 18 against the Orlando Magic — and 2.6 blocked shots since the break, putting his stamp on the Lakers' 10-1 mark during that span.

"I'm just coming out there giving it a lot of energy," Bynum said. "That's it. Just playing hard, trying to win games. [I'm] smiling because I'm having fun. It's fun to try and track down every rebound and block as many shots as possible."

Bryant on course to play

Kobe Bryant didn't practice Thursday, preferring to get treatment on his sprained left ankle.

Still, the expectation is that Bryant will play Friday night when the Lakers play the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center.

Bryant first injured his ankle in the third quarter of last Saturday night's game in Dallas.

Two nights later, Bryant played against the Magic.

He's had three days off to recover.

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Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said "it might be" better for Bryant to take a game off, but that they will make that decision Friday after "seeing how it is."

"He says it's got strength, good strength in his ankle," Jackson said. "It's still swollen quite a bit, but he has the strength and he feels he can play."

Dealing with Love

Minnesota All-Star forward Kevin Love has been a handful for the entire NBA this season.

The third-year professional from UCLA leads the NBA in rebounding, averaging 15.7 per game. He also is averaging 20.7 points per game.

The Lakers saw first-hand how tough Love is, when he had 24 points and 23 rebounds in his first game against them in November.

But in the second game, Love didn't score and he had just seven rebounds. In the most recent game, he had 11 rebounds and 13 points.

"Some of it is circumstantial," Jackson said. "Some is he had a really good game against us in the first game he played against us."

No love for Lakers fans

In a story in GQ Magazine that listed the top 15 "Worst Sports Fans in America," Lakers fans were ranked No.15.

The publication said fans attending Lakers' games at Staples Center are the "fairest of America's fair-weather fans."

Jackson was quoted in the story, saying the focus is not on the court, but on "the people in the crowd."

Jackson smiled when told about the article.

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"I'm all for them. Whatever they want to do," Jackson said, laughing. "We don't have fans like Utah that will boo the referees on every call. I think they are knowledgeable, [Lakers] fans. They are the best followers in the league, there's no doubt it."

The Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles were ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, as the worst.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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