Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum is not sure he will regain his explosiveness after missing all of last season because of injuries to both knees.
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The 7-foot Bynum said before Monday night’s game against Minnesota that he still feels pain in his knees, but hopes his minutes will increase as the season goes on. He hoped to play in both halves of the game, his third appearance of the season.
Bynum admitted he isn’t as explosive as he was when he played for the Los Angeles Lakers and wonders if that aspect of his game will return.
"I don’t think that’s coming back," he said. "It makes you rely more on footwork and skills versus athleticism."
Bynum is also dealing with the normal effects of having surgery, but is pleased with the progress he’s made.
"I feel little sharp pains here and there, but it’s nothing too bad," he said. "I feel all right. My timing’s off, but I haven’t played in a long time. I have skills. I have talent. I just need to get my timing back."
Bynum played 7:34 in the season opener against Brooklyn — his first appearance since May 21, 2012, when he was with the Lakers — and 10:46 on Friday against Charlotte. He didn’t play in the second half of either game and was inactive Saturday against Indiana, which follows the Cavaliers’ plans of being cautious with him. Bynum entered Monday’s game with 4:14 remaining in the first quarter and played 9:42 in the half.
Bynum didn’t play a game last season with Philadelphia and underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees in March. He signed with Cleveland in July and resumed basketball activities in mid-September.
The Cavaliers hope Bynum, 26, will give them a large inside presence and a complement to star point guard Kyrie Irving. The team signed Bynum to a two-year, $24 million contract. Only one season is guaranteed and the team holds the option for next season.