The Celtics lost center Kendrick Perkins to a knee injury in the first quarter of Game 6, but Lakers center Andrew Bynum has been limited by a bad knee all series. Things did not improve for Bynum Tuesday, the Lakers center playing just 16 minutes.
“He wasn’t able to move very fluidly in the second half,” said Lakers coach Phil Jackson. “He had some tightness in the back of his leg. He just said, ‘You’ve got to take me out. I can’t run.’ And it was obvious at that point that he couldn’t. He had some swelling in the back of his leg, and we’ll have to work on that and see if they can’t ice it down and control that.”
Said Bynum, “We had a big lead and a couple of rebounds I couldn’t get to because I couldn’t pick my leg up. With the lead [it was] and opportunity to rest.”
The possible limitations of Bynum will make the playing field more even should Perkins not be able to go for the Celtics in Game 7. Perkins left Staples center without crutches but with a noticeable limp Tuesday night. The NBA says Perkins has a sprained right knee and will need to be evaluated further, with Yahoo! Sports reporter Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that the further evaluation will be an MRI to determine the extent of any possible ligament damage.
Doc Rivers said Tuesday night that he wasn’t sure who would start in Game 7 if Perkins could not, though Rasheed Wallace seems the likely choice given his size in defending Bynum.
“I haven’t given that any thought yet on who we would start,” said Rivers. “It’s pretty easy to figure out, it’ll be one of two guys — Rasheed or Baby — but I’m not sure. We’ve got to get better play out of Baby, and I told him that after the game. We do. He has to come with that same spirit he came in the famous Shrek and Donkey game. We need that again, and we need that from everybody.”