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Audio leftovers: Phil Jackson

April 4, 2009 | 11:57 am

Here's a little more audio that didn't make it into the postgame report after Friday night's 93-81 win over Houston at Staples.  Both from PJ, both interesting. 

In the first, I asked if the team handles physical play better now than they did a year or 18 months ago.  Given the whole "Lakers are soft!" narrative, it's certainly something people will be talking about when the playoffs open up.  I wasn't a big believer in that through line last year- teams don't win a brutal Western Conference then beat Utah and San Antonio to get to the Finals by being soft- but think four wins over Houston plus two each over Boston and Cleveland this season undercut the idea even more. PJ thinks things are better on that front, but not perfect:

"We're better.  We still want to look back at the referees, and I don't want us to do that.  To have guys complaining.  If it's going to be that kind of a game and the referees are going to call it that way, then you have to get into the trenches and play that type of game and not look back."

In the second clip, Jackson talks about the performance of the bench, and why he left them in the game after the Rockets had closed the gap to one in the fourth quarter, and the battle between Shane Battier and Kobe Bryant.