Following the Los Angeles Lakers 99-90 loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday night, the team took questions from the media, and the entire team seemed to be optimistic about the performance of the team.
The mood in the Lakers’ locker room was positive about the general energy and effort. Although the team acknowledged that moral victories meant extremely little considering their dismal 17-22 record on the season, Steve Nash reminded reporters that this team was in its “infancy” under Mike D’Antoni.
“We started with Mike (D’Antoni) two months ago, and we haven’t had very much practice time,” Nash Said after the game. “For a team not to have a training camp with a coach is very difficult, especially when a lot of those pieces are new.”
The loss against the Heat also marked Pau Gasol’s return to the Lakers following a 10-day layoff due to concussion. Gasol came off the bench and was a spark to rally a turnover-plagued Lakers team in the first half. Gasol’s positive play earned the Spaniard a spot in the Lakers’ team that finished the game. In fact, Gasol played all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter.
After the game, Triple Threat’s Shahan Ahmed asked Gasol whether he preferred to start games but sit on the bench down the stretch or come off the bench but play at the end of games.
Gasol responded, “In that scenario, I would always like to finish games.”
Ahmed asked if he felt comfortable in the bench role, and Gasol responded that given the injury circumstances, he was comfortable not starting. However, he was quick to add that he did not believe he was best suited to come in off the bench.
Lakers’ center Dwight Howard also addressed the media and dismissed any talk that his teammates could not throw him the ball late in games due to his free throw troubles. Although Howard has been much better from the line following a horrific start, he missed two free throws late in the game, including an embarrassing air-ball.
Howard, Gasol, and Nash all appeared optimistic at the overall performance at the team.