To call Wednesday's media session following practice in El Segundo quick does a disservice to quick things. Like cheetahs or squirrels. The Lakers, like everyone else in the city, had an eye on traffic near LAX ahead of President Obama's arrival. On some travel days, guys will still linger around the facility and talk, even with a flight to catch. Not today. The Lakers needed to be off the ground by 1:30 or they'd have to wait for the President to land, disembark, and do whatever else it is presidents do when they arrive in a city.
Still, there were a few nuggets of interest, starting with Andrew Bynum. Healthy as he's been in any of the team's championship runs and coming off a great effort against the Hornets Wednesday night in Game 2, Bynum still isn't counting his chickens before they've hatched.
"It feels good," Bynum said Monday in El Segundo, "but I've got to make it out of the first round. I was alright last year in [Oklahoma City], and then I got hurt there. I'll keep it going, hopefully. But it's fun. It's good to be healthy going out there. It's a lot more exciting. I'm able to play more minutes, and I just want to continue to do better."
Bynum had some interesting words about his continuing evolution as a player, and how he's embraced his role as defensive stopper and glass eater.
Click below for more from Bynum, as well as words from Phil Jackson.
Bynum, on playing together with Pau Gasol, and the continuing evolution of his outlook on the floor:
Before the series, Jackson said he didn't anticipate putting Kobe Bryant on Chris Paul. Obviously it happened Wednesday night, with positive effects. "It made us feisty," Jackson said. "There was a real aggression that went into the game, and it was called that way, too."
On why he made the change, Jackson was, oh, just a touch more flip. "We consulted the astrologist and the tarot card people, and that's what they came up with. They decided that was good."
He was, however, a little more direct addressing the down side of such an assignment for Bryant. "It's an energy drain. It's a lot of energy for him to focus on at the defensive end. Offensively, there are some other things he can do offensively that help us out in that regard. But I like the challenge, and I like the fact he wanted to take the challenge up."
It'll be interesting to see how much Kobe picks up Paul in Game 3 Friday, when and for how long.
I asked Jackson about a sluggish second half offensively for the team. L.A. had 15 assists on their first 16 buckets during the opening 24 minutes, but only finished with 20. "I thought a lot of it was us. I thought we stopped moving as well. We didn't operate in the offense as well. Some of that has to do with their pressure. The way they denied people. They got us out of our spots and made us uncomfortable at the offensive end."