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Bynum to start; Jackson jokes

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Andrew Bynum's troublesome right knee won't prevent him from starting Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday against the Boston Celtics.

"He's doing pretty good," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said after the team's morning shootaround. "He said it felt good today and he's ready to go." Jackson said he hoped to increase Bynum's playing time against Boston. The young center averaged just 18 minutes per game in the conference finals against Phoenix.

"I said that we hope we get over half a game," Jackson said. "We're looking for that."

The other thing Lakers fans can expect to see at the start of the game is Kobe Bryant matched up against Rajon Rondo.

"[It will] probably [be] Kobe, but if we get cross-matched, Fish [Derek Fisher] will be on him a lot," Jackson said.

Ron Artest was the last Lakers player to leave the court, getting up extra shots with special assistant Rasheed Hazzard. Any scoring he can provide in the series will be a bonus as long as he can contain the Celtics' Paul Pierce.

Artest said he would not do anything special to prepare for Pierce during the day.

"Nothing [to do], nothing at all," Artest said. "Just eat lunch and it will be there when it's there, it's not going nowhere. When the game comes at 6 o'clock, we'll be ready."

If Artest chooses to defend Pierce by drawing offensive charges, a financial incentive won't be there any longer. The league asked the Lakers to stop their program of rewarding nominal $50 bonuses, money redistributed from player fines accumulated throughout the season, according to Jackson.

"Now I'll just give them a gold star or a red star," Jackson quipped.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com