Andrew Bynum is known for both his candor and brevity, so it was fitting that he needed just eight words to assess his up-and-down playoff performance to date.

"Some games I played well. Most games not," he said, matter-of-factly.

The NBA Finals represent Bynum's best opportunity to salvage his disappointing postseason because he'll be matched up against Orlando's Dwight Howard, perhaps the league's most dominant center.

Bynum picked up more fouls (five) than points (three) and rebounds (one) combined in his first meeting with Howard this season but acquitted himself better in a 14-point, three-rebound performance the second time.

While Bynum described Howard as a tougher cover than second-round opponent Yao Ming because of his strength and leaping ability, the young Lakers center also expressed excitement that defending the Magic star played to his strengths. Bynum must keep a body on Howard at all times to keep him from establishing position close to the rim, though he also has to be careful not to pick up cheap fouls.

"You've got to do work early against him," Bynum said. "If he beats you down the court, you're dead. You've got to run, got to get down the court before him so you can start holding him up at the free-throw line."

Bynum said he'll emulate the defense of Boston's Kendrick Perkins, who held Howard to 16.4 points per game in the second round. Howard averaged 21.5 points and 16 rebounds in two regular-season games against the Lakers .

The chance to play in his first NBA Finals is especially invigorating for Bynum because he missed last year's series against the Celtics as a result of the season-ending knee injury he suffered earlier in the season.

"I'm going to be out here fighting because that's what we have to do, especially because we need to win the championship," Bynum said. "We know what it feels like to lose it and all the hard work that went in before that, so every minute of every game is crucial."


He may be a courtside regular at Orlando Magic games, but Tiger Woods hasn't forgotten his Southern California roots.

"I'm really torn about the NBA Finals," the Cypress native wrote in his newsletter. "I grew up a die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan but have season tickets to Orlando Magic games. Hopefully, it will be a great series."


The day after he interviewed for Sacramento's vacant head coaching position, Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis had little interest in offering any insight on how it went.

"We're in the Finals," he said. "That's where my focus is."

Sacramento executives apparently left the interview impressed with Rambis, who previously interviewed with the Kings two years ago.

"We had a great meeting," Kings co-owner Joe Maloof told the Sacramento Bee. "We've known (Rambis) throughout the years, and he's a very, very dynamic, smart man. Very intelligent. Like before, we were very impressed with him."

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Added: June 5, 2009


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