Phil still doesn’t like the Lakers’ performance. Great demands earns championships.
ESPN: Phil Jackson wants a better sustained effort from the Lakers against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He got it for one quarter in the playoff opener, then watched the defending champions lose energy the rest of the way.
The Lakers won 87-79 Sunday mostly on the strength of their dominating first quarter, in which 7-footers Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum scored and rebounded with abandon and the team shot 54 percent.
Although never losing the lead, the Lakers didn’t win another quarter and the Thunder got within six points with 3½ minutes remaining.
“Our guys sustaining that effort is where we really have to keep working,” Jackson said after practice Monday. “The big issue with us is we have to have good court balance, take good shots so that their run-out opportunities aren’t available to them or they’re more difficult than they’ve been.”
A subdued Kobe Bryant said he shares Jackson’s concern, although he maintains that getting the win was the most important thing.
“We’ll do better,” he said. “The games are prettier when you score a lot of points and stuff like that, and that’s what we’re capable of doing but at the end of the day, defense and rebounding wins championships.”