The Lakers reconvened at their practice facility in El Segundo on Monday after an elongated road trip. Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Coach Mike D’Antoni all addressed the LA media. Injured big man Pau Gasol took to social media to provide his own update.
D’Antoni was first to speak, and the coach was optimistic about the team’s improvement over the past two weeks. Even after the loss in Miami, the Lakers have won seven of their last 10 games.
“I think we made some progress,” D’Antoni reflected on the Grammy trip. “We played a little bit better. I think we’re showing signs of playing good basketball.”
The Lakers did not gain ground in the race for the playoffs, but they did not lose any ground either. Considering the Lakers had lost seven games in a row on the road prior to embarking on the traveling adventure, four wins in seven games was an improvement.
“I’m feeling like we’re getting better,” D’Antoni optimistically stated. “I think the basketball is better. I think the locker room is good.”
D’Antoni, Nash, Bryant, and Howard all attempted to quiet the media storm surrounding a fragmented team by saying the media circus had overblown the story.
When on-the-court basketball came to the forefront, Nash and Howard’s inability to master the pick-and-roll became the point of focus.
“I would have thought we would be a lot more potent in the pick-and-roll situations,” Nash revealed. “I was incredibly excited to play with [Howard] for that reason.”
Howard blamed defenses for the Lakers’ failure to run the screen and roll (see video above).
“I’m not really a pick-and-roll type,” Bryant said when asked why the play was not as effective as most analysts had expected. “[Nash]’s really the pick-and-roll expert.”
With 30 games left in the season, the Lakers’ circus has pitched a tent in Los Angeles. The Lakers do not hit the road again until Feb. 24, so the team should have plenty of time to practice and build on the last two weeks of “good basketball.”