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NBA Finals Notebook

Andrew Bynum's knee continues to give him trouble

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By Michael Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 11, 2010

BOSTON -- Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum can never seem to be healthy when his team faces the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. He has been playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee since their first-round series against Oklahoma City, and has been experiencing setbacks each step of the way.

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He had 2 1/2 ounces of fluid drained from his knee before the series began, then had to watch in frustration as it all returned before Game 1. Bynum said he "tweaked" the problematic knee in the third quarter of Game 3, and Coach Phil Jackson used Lamar Odom more down the stretch. But after swelling in the knee led him to claim that he was "questionable" for Game 4, Bynum made the opening tip against Kendrick Perkins on Thursday.

"I think the big factor is that he knows he's going to be in some kind of discomfort during the course of the game," Jackson said. "I don't think you can underestimate it. I think it's just a growth of an NBA player dealing with what you have to do in this game at this time of year."

The 7-foot, 285-pound Bynum missed all of the postseason two years ago after suffering a partially dislocated left kneecap, but he said the opportunity to possibly help the Lakers win a second consecutive championship meant that he had to play through the pain.

Upset over replay

The NBA has been utilizing instant replay for nearly eight years, but it never came under heavy scrutiny until the final 89 seconds of Game 3, when officials went to video monitors to review three calls to determine possession after the ball went out of bounds. In two cases, the calls were reversed. In another, the call was upheld. But the results still left both the Lakers and the Celtics smarting.

The first review occurred with 1 minute 29 seconds remaining, when the Lakers held an 84-80 lead and Kobe Bryant slapped the ball away from Kevin Garnett. The Celtics were initially rewarded the ball, but officials overturned the call after determining that it hit Garnett's leg before going out of bounds.

"I just thought he tipped it out of my hand," Garnett said. Referee Bennett Salvatore "said it was off on me. Because of league fines and all the other -- you know, gag order, I choose not to comment on that."

Lamar Odom and Rajon Rondo were at the center of two reviews in the final 39 seconds, with the Celtics getting awarded the ball on both occasions. The final review brought out a glitch in the system, as the Celtics were rewarded the ball after the replay showed Odom tapping it out of bounds. Rondo, however, hit Odom's arm on the play but referees are prohibited from calling a foul after the play.

"You're going to face that if you're just going to use videotape one way," Jackson said. "Those are the things that we questioned immediately when they brought in the rule, is you're going to see a lot of things happening now. Where if it's a three-point play, a guy might have stepped out of bounds and no one saw it and he comes back in and now you're looking at, is it a three-point shot or not? And you miss the fact that he stepped out of bounds. What are you going to do to rectify the fact that the officials missed the call?"

Celtics Coach Doc Rivers was upset with the ruling on the Garnett-Bryant play, saying that it was "inconclusive," but added that "maybe we need to use the replay more in a lot of our calls."

New strategy for Rivers?

Rivers had another gripe with the officiating overall, saying immediately after Game 3 that he should follow Jackson's lead and complain about fouls. "It carries weight," Rivers said of Jackson's comments. "I think honestly, there's too much talk about officials. I told our guys, 'Listen, whether you like the calls, you didn't like the calls, we've got to play better. We've got to play smarter and we've got to play more disciplined."


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