O.C. Register: Andrew Bynum wasn’t altogether surprised that Phil Jackson plans to start him in the Western Conference semifinals for one reason.
Bynum seemed convinced Wednesday the Lakers will meet Houston in the next round, ignoring all possibility that Portland would emerge from that first-round series. The Rockets lead, 3-2, with Game 6 scheduled for Thursday.
“That’s who I think we’re going to play. They’re up and have two games to win one,” said Bynum, not giving the Trail Blazers much of a chance.
But it doesn’t really matter to Bynum who they play as long as he gets more than the foul-plagued 77 minutes he saw in the Lakers’ first-round five-game series against Utah. And Phil Jackson is set on making that happen.
The Lakers coach said after the team wrapped up the Utah series Monday that Bynum would start at center and Lamar Odom would return to a reserve role. Bynum was a non-factor in the first round, but Jackson believes the Lakers will need all of his 7 feet against 7-foot-6 center Yao or Portland’s Joel Przybilla.
“(The last series) makes me very hungry,” Bynum said. “I can’t wait to get out there. I know I’m going to play better.”