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Next big challenge: Andrew Bynum

LOS ANGELES – Lakers big man Andrew Bynum dominated the Mavericks during the regular season. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll do it this series.

We learned that during the first round, when the Mavs big men made Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge work hard for almost every bucket he got.

Aldridge averaged 27.8 points against the Mavericks during the regular season and opened the series with a 27-point performance. He averaged 19.6 points on .432 shooting the rest of the series.

“Playoffs and regular season is totally different,” Tyson Chandler said, “because it’s a different focus.”

The focus for Chandler and backup Brendan Haywood is on trying to find a way to prevent Bynum from punishing them in the paint.

That, of course, is a lot easier said than done.

“He’s one of the few true big men in this league who like to bang and he’s a good athlete,” Haywood said. “Most guys his size are kind of lumbering. He’s 7-2, 290 and moves well on his feet.”

Bynum put up better numbers against the Mavs than any other opponent this season, averaging 16.7 points and 11.7 rebounds and shooting .704 from the floor. He did most of his damage within a few feet of the rim, making 14 of 15 shots in the restricted area.

“A lot of it is keeping a body on him, kind of the same way we had to figure out how to keep a body on LaMarcus,” Chandler said. “The way their offense is set, the moment you help, you’re done. He’s so big, he clears out that space and camps out in the paint. When he gets it, he’s a load.”