After the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss to the Toronto Raptors, a stunned locker room addressed the media. Dwight Howard had little to say to the media after being ejected in questionable fashion, and the Lakers intend to ask the league to rescind the two technical fouls.
“Nothing they can do now,” Howard said after the game. “We lost the game.”
Coach Mike D’Antoni seemed more frustrated and upset than most of the players. When asked about his team’s issues, D’Antoni said, “We got a lot of issues.”
“Offensively, the ball sticks and we don’t take very good shots,” the coach said. “Offensively, we struggle.”
Considering D’Antoni was brought in for his offensive prowess, his critique of the offense after being on the job for two months is troubling. Also, defensively, the Lakers are the fifth-worst team in the league in terms of points allowed.
One of the few positives in the loss to Toronto was forward Earl Clark.
“I think Earl is playing well,” D’Antoni said.
Clark, however, was one of the more frustrated players in the locker room even after being the Lakers' stand-out player against Toronto.
“Basically, we just got to defend,” Clark said after the game. “We can’t play from behind.”
“Look yourself in the mirror and man up," Clark called out his teammates. "You got to play defense; you cannot just outscore everybody."
Clark is a newcomer, so his words probably will not strike a chord with the Lakers’ players. His words, however, reflect the viewpoint of a frustrated Lakers Nation.
When asked what was missing, Steve Nash responded, “cohesion.”
This "team" has been lacking a sense of unity on and off the floor, and that lack of cohesion is easy to see in nearly every Lakers’ loss. Kobe Bryant, who had an awful shooting night, offered to take all the blame.
“Point the finger at me,” Bryant said after the game.
“I just got to rest my legs,” Bryant said with regards to his poor shooting. “My legs are a little tired, shots are just short, that’s on me.”
“I’ll take this loss on me, gladly,” he continued. “There are a lot of easy shots—a lot of them—that I should put down." Bryant promised, "And I will.”
With a game against Chicago staring the Lakers in the face on MLK Day, this 17-23 team is getting close to playing for next season at the halfway mark.
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