Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum Ailing as Elimination Game Looms
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The last thing the Lakers need is another front-line player hampered. But they're sure hoping that won't be the case.
Power forward Lamar Odom was limited in Tuesday morning's shoot-around with what the team called sinusitis. The Lakers already have center Andrew Bynum playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee.
"He's going to be all right, we hope,'' Lakers coach Phil Jackson said of Odom after the shoot-around. The Lakers were preparing for Thursday night's Game 6 of the Finals at the Staples Center, while down 3-2 to Boston. "He got out and tried to shoot with teammates a little.''
Odom, who will play in Game 6 coming off the bench, has had a mediocre Finals, averaging just 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds.
Asked before the game how he felt, Odom said, "I'm all right.'' And Lakers guard Derek Fisher shrugged off any concern about Odom's health.
"He has the sniffles,'' Fisher said. "Just bad timing. Allergies or whatever. But he'll be fine.''
The Lakers hope the same can be said about Bynum, who has played with a bad knee throughout the postseason and really has been hampered since tweaking it in Game 3. In the past two games, Bynum has averaged just 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds.
"Andrew, he got out and looked at his teammates a little bit,'' Jackson said of what Bynum did during shoot-around.
Bynum, who will have surgery in early July, had six points and a rebound in the first half of the first quarter in the 92-86 Game 5 loss Sunday in Boston. But he didn't get a single point or rebound the rest of the game while playing a total of 32 minutes.
"We hope he can get together an extra couple of appearances on the floor and give us that kind of effort,'' Jackson said of Bynum trying to play more of the game the way he started Sunday.
Despite some players not at full strength, the Lakers don't seem overly worried. While they must win the final two games to take the title, both would be at home, with a possible Game 7 Thursday at the Staples Center.
"If somebody told you you could give yourself a chance to win a championship by winning one game on your homecourt and maybe setting up another opportunity two days later (at home) to win a championship, I think we'd all take that and we wouldn't run from that at all,'' said Fisher, who cautioned, though, the Lakers can't be thinking of Thursday during Tuesday's game.
Since the NBA began the 2-3-2 format in the 1985 Finals, only two of six home teams that trailed 3-2 entering Game 6 have come back to win the series. The Lakers did it against Detroit in 1988 and Houston against New York in 1994.
"I'm one of the few guys who was around or wasn't wearing diapers,'' Fisher said of 1988. "So I remember.''
The Lakers will try to do it again with Bynum hurting and their top post reserve also possibly not at full strength.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@christomasson