The Pelican Blog

Postgame report: From the Lakers locker room

Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni
On who to credit for the improved overall energy
“I said the whole time that this is a good group of guys. We stressed it before, but I think today they realized what it’s going to take to win, and they did it. I think Jordan Hill being in that first group helped with his energy, and Wesley Johnson [too]. I thought they set the tone defensively, and then everybody picked it up. I thought everybody contributed tonight.”

On what made Jordan Hill effective tonight
“I think he’s been effective the whole time. The group he was with, the second group, was our best lineup. I was a little hesitant to break that up, because that was the thing that seemed like it was going well. But, he gave the first group a little jolt of energy.”

On limiting Anthony Davis
“We just played harder… We got up on him, squeezed him a little bit. He’s still going to be a good player, but the last game we just let him run wild.”

On shifting rotations or playing at home being the reason for improved play
“To me, it’s more of a focus and understanding on what we have to do. Sometimes it gets through and sometimes it doesn’t. They [Lakers] anticipated better, got back on defense better and they talked better. Everything mentally was better tonight, and if we want to win and try to get into the playoffs, then this is what we have to do. It’s not very difficult.”

On playing a back-to-back and going to Denver tomorrow
“You don’t think about it. You have to go to Denver and play. We didn’t play a lot of minutes tonight. We do have 10 guys, and there should be no excuses.”

Lakers Forward Pau Gasol
On if he felt more like himself tonight
“We just turned the ball over, it’s as simple as that. It slipped out of my hand a couple of times. We just didn’t execute down the stretch and they got out in transition and were getting easy baskets. We can’t allow that to happen.”

On what Jordan Hill brought to the lineup
“You know with Jordan, he’s going to bring energy and effort. He’s going to be around the rim. Just by doing that he’s going to give himself a chance to get rebounds, put backs and easy layups when the defense collapses on other guys. That’s basically what he did tonight and did very effectively. Obviously when he does well teams will pay more attention to him, but he played great tonight. I look forward to seeing that effort again, and we’re going to need it every night.”

Lakers Forward Jordan Hill
On playing without Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant
“With them out we need to bring more energy, we’ve got to fight a little harder and just keep playing at the pace that we did tonight and everything will be alright.”

On starting tonight and leading all scorers and if that’s what he was looking for
“It doesn’t matter [scoring]. I just want to go out there and have fun. Whether I’m a starter or I’m coming off the bench I’m going to still do what I always do. I’m going to bring the energy, rebound, defend and run the floor. I’m going to keep doing what I’ve always been doing.”

On the difference for him and his approach to the game between starting and coming off the bench
“It’s really no change. I just want to go out there and have fun and play the game and help my team out in any way possible. I want to continue to do what I do when do come off the bench and have fun with it.”

Lakers Guard Steve Blake
On his 10 assists tonight and if he’s just as happy when assisting the ball as he is when scoring it
“I think I’m happier [with assists]. I’ve always played the game like that. I get excitement out of setting guys up and getting easy baskets and helping the team be successful.”

On whether he was consciously looking to make more assists in the absence of Nash
“I always try to read the way the game is flowing. I had a few shots early and I think they [Pelicans] thought I was going to keep being aggressive, which kind of opened up passing lanes.”

On having all 10 Lakers score and the teams balance tonight
“I think the chemistry was really there. We read each other, where we supposed to be and we ere getting into the pockets and guys were making the extra pass and we were making shots.”

Lakers Forward Xavier Henry
On his dunk over Jeff Withey and what was going through his mind on the play
“I was actually going to swing the ball. The ball swung a little bit and it got to me up top and I was going to swing it one more time to Jordan Farmar and when they heard him calling for it I faked it that way and they both went for it and from there I’m pretty good at getting to the rack.”

Lakers Guard Jordan Farmar
On the difference playing New Orleans Tonight, versus playing them Friday
“I think our intensity and attention to detail on the defensive end started and picked up. It made it hard on them and we got easy baskets in transition and just rolled the momentum really. I thought we played decent in New Orleans but we let it slip away at the end. Tonight we were focused enough to carry it through the whole game.”

On where the team’s balanced scoring attack is coming from
“We’re just sharing it. We’re playing with each other and trying to get everybody involved. Guys are happy to be out there with each other. So let’s carry it over to tomorrow night. That’s the biggest thing. We played well one time but we have to carry it over to tomorrow.”

Lakers Forward Nick Young
On coming off the bench and his thought process entering the game
“I’m just looking at the game and seeing what they’re doing out there. It’s about being prepared and having that mindset to be out there riling each other up on the bench, the bench mob, and being ready to go out there.”