Thoughts on the game…
We started off awful, we had no energy, and we lose Dwight (Howard). We made some runs and got our energy up a little bit, but we didn’t play great. The ball didn’t want to move, we got it really stuck. Again, I’m talking about us, they played well, they played hard and you have got to give them credit.
When Dwight Howard got ejected did you still feel like you could come back and win the game?
Yes, we got to within four points at halftime and I thought we had a good shot at it. But a couple of threes by (Kyle) Lowry at a bad time hurt us and we just forgot. Again, I just think the way we’re playing is not conducive to winning.
What s the biggest issue for your team?
We have a lot of issues. Offensively, the ball sticks and we don’t take very good shots. Offensively we struggle and then defensively, our ups-and-downs and we forget guys.
What’s the focus as you prepare for the Bulls?
Get the Lakers right. We haven’t got it right and that’s got to be our focus. It doesn’t have anything to do with the other teams; it’s got to do a lot with us.
Another chapter in the Lakers story…
We find a lot of ways to make it interesting that’s for sure. It’s disappointing obviously; I think you have to give credit to Toronto they played well. We are disappointed in our performance. I thought our effort was spotty and a little lazy cutting corners. I know we flew across the country yesterday and played an early 10:00 am west coast game, so for me that’s not an excuse but a sign. We have to come ready to play early and I didn’t feel like we were ready to play. I thought we cut too many corners at too many different times in the game. It was too big of a hole to climb out of.
What is missing?
I just think the cohesion. I think we do it sometimes and sometimes we don’t do what we’ve talked about and break away. Maybe that’s because we need more time, but to me mentally we need to stick with the script. Right now we are defecting from the script too many times.
Is there a level of urgency?
Yes, it’s a frustrating loss and I will say there has definitely been urgency here, in theory. Today wasn’t that urgent. Today wasn’t a great performance but the guys have come in everyday, had a good attitude and worked together and tried to support each other. We are just not finding a consistent level out of our group. We just have to keep plugging away.
Can you see a good team in here?
Of course, the other night we were tied versus Miami with two minutes left and we could have been so much more efficient and effective in so many different ways. You think in time we can shore that up, but we’re running out of time and we don’t have a ton of time to prepare because guys are playing heavy minutes. So it is a lot of film work and needs to translate into a higher clip.
What bothers you the most after that loss?
Well, I felt that we played hard. We got off to a slow start, but I felt like in the second we were pretty active but they busted us on a good run that really stretched the ball game. We tried to push but ran out of time.
Did it seem like a quick second technical on Dwight Howard?
I really don’t agree with that one at all. What is a player supposed to do, a guy he’s confronting and trying to walk back up the court. The official told me, well he should just walk away. I said which direction, should he just turn around and walk to the bench. He was walking down to the other end of the court to get back on offence. There is nothing he can do when a guy steps up to him and puts a forearm in his chest. You say one thing and now it’s a double technical and just don’t agree with that.
Does it seem like a lot of stuff isn’t going the teams’ way right now?
Yes, but it is not as bad as it looks. There are some positive things in terms of what we are doing, our activity and things like that. We just have to rest up and get ready for tomorrow.“We have to get to the front lines here and start picking up full court, start harassing guys… That was a challenge I wanted to pick up for sure."
Is it a continuing process to get you easier looks?
I just have to rest my legs, my legs are a little tired and my shot is just short. That’s on me, I’ll take this loss on me gladly. There were a lot of easy shots, a lot of them, I should put down and I will. So that is just on me.
Is there a sense of urgency?
Yes for sure. We get down a little bit but tonight I felt like we really picked each other up, stayed positive and stayed aggressive. They just made some big shots and wound up stretching the ball game, but still in all we continued to push. We had an opportunity there but (Jose) Calderon made a big shot. They also got a big offensive rebound that enabled them to stretch the game and finish the game.
What was the conversation you had with Metta (World Peace) after the game about?
I think the only way we can get out of this situation, the path we’ve been on, is by communicating and coming to an understanding of what needs to be done as a unit, we can’t do it on our own. Right now there are a few cracks in our game that we need to cover, we need to make sure that they disappear, that they go away. The only way that can happen is if we talk about it as a unit, understand each other and figure it out.
Thoughts on the play of Landry Fields…
I thought he did a solid job, not only offensively, but running the floor and being active. We knew that if they were going to put Steve Nash on him that he would have an opportunity to crash the boards, run the floor and do all the little things that create problems and openings for us on the offensive end. His energy and running the floor was really infectious.
Thoughts on the game…
I thought that was one of the most complete games we’ve had all year from top to bottom. I thought our zone was effective, even when we were mixed up, they were mixed up. Sometimes when you’re confused, they’re confused. It was a good team effort and we executed down the stretch which we didn’t do the other night. It’s the little things, ball movement, man movement, transition defense and then when the shot goes up box out.
Thoughts on Jose Calderon and the pick and roll…
Kobe (Bryant) is one of the best, I saw it firsthand a couple of years ago in the Western Conference finals against Jason Kidd. He disrupted everything with just a one-man press. I thought Jose today handled it with skill and poise; because if he was off balance and shaky everyone else would have been. He did a big time job of making reads, find the cutters, finding the roll man and being aggressive with his shot.
Thoughts on going up against Kobe Bryant…
It was different at the beginning and at the end. He is a great all –around player and he can play great defense, but maybe they aren’t used to guarding so many screen and rolls. I was trying to put him in as many screen and rolls as possible to get him out of that pressure.
Thoughts on play of Landry Fields…
It was great. Like I told Landry today, we just need time to play together. He’s been out, so now I can get to know him a little bit more and what he is comfortable with. I hit him three times in a row. When you are feeling comfortable I’m hitting you.
Thoughts on finishing this game strong…
I have to give credit to my teammates who did a great job today. We really responded to the coaches telling us to keep fighting and eventually the ball will turn our way. I think we did that and hopefully this gives us momentum going into this road trip.
Thoughts on playing with Jose Calderon…
It’s getting out there and understanding what guys like to do. I think he’s starting to realize where I’m at times and it’s me reading him, too. I want to let him do his thing. I always want to be an outlet whether it’s a cut or coming behind for a shot.
Thoughts on defending Kobe Bryant…
Coaches told me I was going to be guarding Kobe. He’s one of the top two players of all time, arguably and he’s going to get his points. There is no way of stopping him you just have to make it as hard as possible. That has been my mindset ever since I came into the league, react to his first move because he gives a bunch of them and remain as solid and contest his shot as best as possible.