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The Lakers, losers of their last five, have blamed fatigue for their recent woes.

After a long season, and coming off three straight NBA Final runs, the Lakers have chose to take their foot off the pedal, and save up their energy for the playoffs.

Phil Jackson said this at practice on Monday, courtesy

“There’s some subliminal part of them that just is still giving in to ‘We’re going to have to save it for the best, which is later on, and go from there,'” Jackson said. “At their age, it’s understandable.”

What about the fans and pundits who find it unacceptable, and feel the Lakers should be playing their best ball towards the end of the regular season?

“Everybody wants to put the nail in the coffin,” Kobe Bryant said. “We’ve all been there before.”

Barnes, Bryant, Gasol, Fisher, and Steve Blake all sat out practice on Monday