Bynum hopes to make impact
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “I’m going to get playing time, I believe, because we only have, what, three big men,” Bynum said. His numbers are off, but not by much. The Lakers are looking at a frontcourt rotation of Chris Mihm, Kwame Brown, Slava Medvedenko, Brian Cook and possibly Corie Blount, with Lamar Odom moving to power forward from the backcourt on occasion. If any of those players gets into foul trouble, Bynum reasoned, he could be forced into action. He spent the summer working out, hopeful of making an impact as a rookie, only to suffer the abdominal injury his first week of camp. “It was extremely disappointing, because I was doing pretty good up until the fourth day, when I got hurt,” Bynum said. “To be sidelined by some kind of pulled muscle, it looks like you’re fine, there’s nothing appearing that’s wrong, people ask you why you don’t play and stuff like that. You just can’t.” The Lakers are reluctant to set a timetable for Bynum’s return but have not ruled him out of their Oct. 23 exhibition game against Charlotte in San Diego. EL SEGUNDO – He was able to take part in only four days of training camp before being sidelined by an abdominal strain. He won’t play in an exhibition game for another week, at least, and possibly longer. Yet Andrew Bynum’s expectations for his rookie season have grown during his short time with the Lakers. “Actually, I think I can contribute more than I thought I could,” said Bynum, who joined his teammates on the practice court Friday for the first time in a week before heading back to the sidelines at the start of contact drills. Even while Phil Jackson has bemoaned Bynum’s lack of game experience coming out of high school and discussed the possibility of sending him to the NBA Development League, the 17-year-old center has done a little roster math and tried to watch and learn as best he can. No let up: The Lakers were back at work Friday on their full-court pressure defense, both in the video room and on the floor, with Jackson saying he always has preferred the style of play and expects to make much use out of it this season. “There’s a time when you’ve got to give it up sometimes when it runs you into mistakes or takes you out,” Jackson said. “But we think that for us to be any good, we’ve got to figure out a way to defend a team somewhere upcourt.” On past Lakers teams, Jackson said the first priority was getting back on defense with Shaquille O’Neal chugging down court. Now Jackson is even having Brown and Mihm work on trapping off the inbounds pass on the opposite end of the floor. “It’s always felt comfortable to me because I was on a team that used full-court pressure in New York,” Jackson said. “And we didn’t have outstanding speed, we didn’t have outstanding size, and we were still able to play full-court pressure because we knew that that’s what had to be done.” Pippen gone: The Lakers’ coaching staff looked a little less legendary Friday, with Scottie Pippen returning home from his job as training-camp consultant. It has not been decided if Pippen will return later in the season, but Jackson said his former player enjoyed his work. Asked if he could see Pippen working somewhere as an assistant next year, Jackson added: “If he wants to. I think he’ll have opportunities to do a variety of things, color commentating or coaching.” Ross Siler, (818) 713-3610 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!