Lakers forward, Matt Barnes, was a guest on the Jim Rome radio show on Thursday and talked about playing for Mike Brown, Pau Gasol’s dust-up with Chris Paul after last nights game, and Metta Wold Peace, among other topics.
On the mini mix-up between Pau Gasol and Chris Paul after the Lakers win over the Clippers:
Pau is fed up with people using the term, “soft.” Pau is hands down one of the most skilled big men in the game and he just has a different style of game. Sometimes you have to rile him up to get him going. Its just a fact of, you hear things and you want to go out there and show everybody what the deal is”
On the Lamar Odom trade:
Its tough. L.O. did so much for this team and was one of the driving forces behind their [Lakers] run. As a player its hard not to put your heart into the game but then when it comes to the business, its the business…L.O. dealt with it the best way he felt, and unfortunately he had to go, but thats business. You can’t fault Lamar, I felt where he was coming from.”
On Metta World Peace:
I actually think we saw Ron Artest last night, you know that World Peace is what it is. But I definitely love when I see Ron Artest back out there talking trash, getting in peoples faces and playing that hard-nosed defense. He strikes fear in people’s hearts and that’s what we need from him. Kobe and I are trying to bring that back out of him and I see that starting to come out of him.
On the struggles on the offensive end of the floor:
Its tough. Its the simple fact that we’re in a new system you know everyone has limited time to practice and have to learn on the fly, but we have to learn on the fly in games and I think our record (11-8) resembles that. That’s not what we’re about, we know we’re one of the upper echelon teams in the league and once we find out rhythm, our chemistry and our identity, we’ll be right back at the top.”
On Mike Brown as a head coach:
Mike Brown is fun, he definitely brings a new energy and spirit to our team, a defensive energy. He lit a fire under our butts and really got us to think defense because we can score with anybody with Kobe, Pau and Andrew. We just know that if we play on that defensive end, nights on offense may not be going well but the defense will be able to hold us down and that’s something that Mike’s instilled in us.”
Mike Brown has definitely brought more of a defensive mindset to the Lakers as they are currently ranked 2nd in the NBA in field goal percentage defense. However, offensively the purple and gold leave much to be desired, ranking 21st in the league in points scored per game and 13th in the league in field goal percentage. Matt Barnes seems to believe that simply more time and experience in Mike Brown’s system will yield better offensive results. We’ll have to take a wait and see approach if Barnes’ assertion rings true.