Lakers notes: Bynum’s effort still a challenge

first_imgThe challenge for the Lakers is getting a consistent effort out of Bynum when he isn’t facing one of the NBA’s headliners, which Jackson admits is easier said than done with a player only two years removed from high school. As evidence of the progress Bynum has made this season, Jackson said he has shown that he can play beyond the eight minutes that Jackson once envisioned as an upper limit before fatigue would set in. SALT LAKE CITY – The education of Andrew Bynum, now in its sophomore year, continues even as coach Phil Jackson has noticed one thing in particular about his 19-year-old center. “We talked a lot, Andrew and I did, in our meetings about how to sustain an effort, how to get more of an effort,” Jackson said. “I noticed when he plays against a (Tim) Duncan or a Shaquille O’Neal … that his activity level is much higher, and we were talking about that.” Although he suffered a back injury in the preseason, McKie said he was fully healthy by November. His Lakers career has been defined by injuries, with McKie missing most of last season with a torn quadriceps tendon, and playing only 18games in all. But McKie was a valuable bench presence, offering suggestions to Bynum, as one example, of how he could avoid picking up a foul with a guard crashing into him on the way to the basket. “Hopefully, it can translate into helping them maybe think the game out a little bit more,” McKie said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img “He knows that I want more from him,” Jackson said. “He knows what I needed to have accomplished. … We’re happy what we get from Andrew. That’s one of the things that we have to remember that he’s still a 19-year-old guy.” Coach McKie: During all those games he spent at the end of the Lakers’ bench, Aaron McKie jokingly referred to himself as the team’s “fifth assistant coach,” a career he said he might pursue once his playing days are over. “Just to keep the laughter going was important because it was kind of like sucking the life out of me,” McKie said. “When you put so much work in and hard work and you’re not getting any results at the end, it’s kind of tough.” McKie had plenty of time to encourage his teammates; he played in only one of the Lakers’ first 55 games. But the 34-year-old’s time has come with Jackson’s decision to turn to his veteran guards off the bench in recent games. “I’m in a situation now where I can help the team with limited minutes,” McKie said, “and it’s fun for me.” last_img

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