LA Daily News beat writer Mark Medina stopped in to Fox Sports radio to talk about the Lakers’ current struggles and the frustration in the locker room. He also hit on his discussion with Mitch Kupchak on Monday, and D’Antoni losing his cool with reporters during his post-game interview after a loss to the Cavs. Here are some of the highlights, and of course, you can listen to the full interview here.
– The Lakers have had the same defensive inconsistency throughout the season, regardless of who the coach is. These problems have not been corrected.
About the Lakers’ 1-10 record when Kobe scores 30 or more: “Kobe has shot very efficiently, so that stat is partially a product of Kobe kicking it up a notch when teammates are struggling, but there have been some games when Kobe has forced the issue offensively, and players like Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol have been frustrated by not getting the ball enough.”
– The Lakers have very little fluidity on offense, which leads to problems on both ends of the floor, and frustration among the team.
– Kobe talked to the media for 15 minutes after the Cavs game. He was honest, and frustrated, calling this the “most difficult stretch he’s ever experienced” in his Lakers career.
– Right now Medina said Kobe was under control, and trying not to “blow his lid off.”
– Kobe has at times tried to preach patience, and dial up the urgency, such as a few weeks ago, when the bench players beat the starters at practice, and Kobe exploded and left the practice facility. Kobe vacillates between these two tactics to motivate his team.
– Medina talked to Mitch Kupchack on Monday. Mitch said the Lakers are ok, and they don’t expect to add a point guard in Nash’s absence, or make roster changes.
– Medina speculates that the strategy could be changing, because until now the Lakers have taken a short-term approach, expecting Nash to return any day. Now that it is unclear when he will be back, they can’t view Nash as a savior, and may look to upgrade at the point guard spot.
Mitch on whether the Lakers will keep Pau Gasol: “That’s been our plan. Nothing has changed that plan.”
– Mitch is leaving himself wiggle room to move Pau, but right now the Lakers are hoping Pau’s struggles came from his knee tendinitis. Management expects Gasol will perform better when he is healthy, and paired with Steve Nash.
– D’Antoni and Pau are at odds with what Gasol’s role is. Pau’s strength is in the post, and he has expressed a desire for more touches down low. D’Antoni doesn’t want to pound the post, so they have a clash of styles. One of them will have to adjust for the Lakers to improve, and that hasn’t happened so far.
– After the game last night, D’Antoni got testy with T.J. Simers. Here is the video of the exchange:
Medina: “I think to be honest, his (TJ Simers) question was justified. He was talking about the Lakers defensive problems that still keep persisting. Obviously, it was a fair question to ask and I think it just shows the frustration”.
– Lakers Vs. Knicks – Can they win? Medina: “I Don’t see how that’s possible.” NY 8-0 at home, Lakers coming off a loss to Cleveland.
– The Lakers have long term issues – not much offensive chemistry, they turn the ball over, and teams run on them, because the Lakers are not a fast team.
– Kyrie Irving looked great against L.A. after returning from an injury.
– Kobe played good defense on the one isolation against Kyrie, and blocked his shot, but despite that “Sportscenter” defensive play, the Lakers didn’t play much defense the rest of the way.