INJURY UPDATE: Andrew Bynum & Kendrick Perkins
Clearly there is no shortage of interesting topics about which to opine heading into a Finals Game 7 between L.A. and Boston, but we should start with the nuts and bolts: the injury front.
L.A.’s injury situation remains the same as it’s been since Game 6 of Round 1 when Andrew Bynum hyperextended his right knee. The seven-footer has battled swelling and pain since, but managed to contribute in various ways regardless.
He took himself out of L.A.’s Game 6 victory just two minutes into the second half because the knee wasn’t responding very well to movement, but was able to rest it without checking back in since the Lakers held a commanding 20-odd point lead throughout.
Bynum said both after Tuesday’s game and at Wednesday’s practice that he will play in Game 7, confident that he can get one more effort out of his leg.
“It’s pretty remarkable, I think, what he’s been able to do for us,” said Pau Gasol. “He is a factor every time he’s out there, even though he might be limited.”
The injury news for Boston is more bleak, however.
Just six minutes into Game 6, center Kendrick Perkins injured his right knee, putting him out not just for the rest of the game but also Game 7, as we learned (officially) on Wednesday.
“He’s not going to go,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. “Once they did the tests that they did and they realized he couldn’t play tomorrow, there was no reason to send him to an MRI, too.”
In other words, Perkins may have suffered more than the currently reported knee sprain, but either way he’s not going to play in Game 7.
Rivers declined to say whether he will start Rasheed Wallace - who probably matches up better defensively with Andrew Bynum - or Glen Davis - who’s been a more effective offensive player throughout the playoffs, but both backup bigs give Boston a variety of different looks.
“Somebody has a great opportunity,” said Rivers. “That’s the way we have to look at it.”