L.A. Times: Funny thing, the Lakers don’t seem that impressed by fourth place in the Western Conference.
Kobe Bryant and Coach Phil Jackson were both reluctant to make a big deal out of it, suggesting instead that the Lakers hadn’t touched their potential yet.
“I can’t say that I’m surprised,” Bryant said. “We’re playing well. I think we can get much, much better. I think we’re doing a good job right now, but the key is to keep working.
“These guys are young and a lot of times, a young team can get caught up in playing well . . . and that’s when you start slipping. It’s my responsibility to make sure we stay on top of what we need to do.”
The Lakers trail San Antonio, Phoenix and Dallas and are one of the bigger surprises in the West, overcoming the uncertainty surrounding Bryant’s unhappiness to jump to a 15-9 record. They have won six of their last seven and have defeated Phoenix, Utah, Houston, Detroit, Denver (twice) and injury-struck San Antonio.
They are third in the league in scoring (107 points a game) and have the third-youngest team in the league, according to Elias Sports Bureau. They were the ninth-youngest team on opening day, but that changed when they acquired Trevor Ariza for veterans Brian Cook and Maurice Evans on Nov. 20. The average age of the Lakers is 25 years 181 days, making them older than only Portland and Seattle.