The Lakers Hear Your Criticism

Sunday night the Lakers won by 12 points to improve to 20-3 on the season.

Monday morning, the headline in the Los Angeles Times was, “Win Is A Real Howler.” In the OC Register, it was, “Playing Down to a Lowly Foe.” Talk shows and Web message boards are filled with probably the most criticism of any 20-3 team in the history of the NBA.

Lakers fans: The coaches and players hear your criticisms. They admit that there is room for improvement. But there is also no panic in the locker room.

“No, it doesn’t matter one way or the other,” Kobe Bryant said of the team getting criticized after wins. “Our focus is on the end result.”

Derek Fisher was quick to admit the Lakers could play better, but tried to add a little perspective when asked if this Lakers team had room for improvement.

“There should be,” Fisher said. “If there wasn’t it wasn’t in December {laughs}… It would be a high goal for us to stay at that level all the way through June.”

Phil Jackson talked about the problems on the offensive end of the floor, with the ball getting stuck on one side of the floor and not enough cutters and movement. But, when was the last time Jackson seemed urgent about anything?

“Right now it doesn’t look like our quickness, our execution is where I’d like,” Jackson said.

Execution, and the need for it to get better, was a seeming mantra of the players after the win against the Timberwolves. Gasol talked about it. Lamar Odom said the second unit needs more of it so that guys like Kobe and Gasol can ice their knees in the third quarter.

Kobe talked about execution needing to be there on the defensive end, with rotations and closing down lanes so opposing players can’t drive to the basket.

“We have to focus on improving,” he said. “We’re playing extremely well and we have to focus on being better.”

Plus, it’s just hard to argue with 20-3.

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