2011 NBA Playoffs: Health-Wise, Lakers Are In Decent Shape For Game One

At the close of the regular season, the Lakers were dealing with a shortage of healthy bodies. The bone bruise to Andrew Bynum's right knee kept him out of the regular-season finale in Sacramento. Matt Barnes missed the last two games with discomfort in the knee that underwent surgery earlier this year. Meanwhile, Steve Blake mysteriously contracted chicken pox and was quickly remanded to quarantine. This carnival of pain led the team to enlist D-Leaguer Trey Johnson as an emergency fill-in on the final night of the season.

But the Lakers caught a break when the NBA scheduled Games One and Two of their first-round series against the Hornets for Sunday and Wednesday, instead of Saturday-Monday. That's given them extra time to get guys right. Bynum practiced yesterday and, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN, has experienced no complications in his ever-fragile knees, so he's good to go for Game One. Ron Artest, though I don't think anyone knew it at the time, hyperextended his knee in Sacramento but will play on Sunday. So, perhaps, will Barnes, who had his knee drained on Thursday. Although Phil Jackson characterizes Matt's availability as "probably questionable," Matt said earlier today, "I'm playing tomorrow." Only Blake has been ruled out.

Look for Jackson to monitor Bynum's minutes carefully. Against a front line as weak as the Hornets', there shouldn't be any need to ride the big man hard right out of the gate. As for the Hornets, they're in good health. Aside from, you know, missing their second-best player in David West.

Follow Dex on Twitter @dexterfishmore.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Los Angeles

You must be a member of SB Nation Los Angeles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Los Angeles. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Los Angeles

You must be a member of SB Nation Los Angeles to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Los Angeles. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.