As the Los Angeles Lakers battle the San Antonio Spurs, with the best record in the NBA, center Andrew Bynum is now expected to play tonight. Bynum missed Tuesday's game against Houston with a bone bruise in his left knee, and was originally listed as questionable for tonight's game. However, after shootaround today, Bynum told ESPN LA's Dave McMenamin, "I'm playing" as he left the court. Coach Phil Jackson expects Bynum to play:
"He has every intention of going out there," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. "He went through shootaround. If anything happens between now and the game and shootaround caused it, I'll be sorry."
Bynum, who missed the first 24 games of the season while recovering from right knee surgery, is expected to be a factor against Tim Duncan of the Spurs. Bynum's status has been officially updated to "probable" for tonight. Mike Trudell of Lakers.com caught up with assistant coach Chuck Person today:
"Having ‘Drew in there makes all the difference in the world for us because of his ability on the defensive end with the rebounding, shot blocking and sheer manpower of enforcing the middle," said Person. "On the offensive end, he can keep Duncan busy so Duncan can’t roam around and help out all over the floor."
The Lakers are 12-5 with Bynum as a starter this season. It is unknown whether Bynum will start or come off the bench against the Spurs.
For more news on tonight's game, be sure to read Silver Screen and Roll.