Game 3: Postgame Lakers Quotes and Video
As I mentioned in the video before AK's postgame breakdown, Tuesday's 108-104 loss for the Lakers, while disappointing, guaranteed only that the press corps covering the Finals won't have to change their flights to get out of Orlando Friday morning. We're here through Sunday.
As for the team, the Lakers weren't panicking. "Every game you lose is a missed opportunity," Lamar Odom said afterward. At the same time, he and his teammates recognized a lot of numbers favored Orlando Tuesday night, and it was still a two point game with a minute to go. The Lakers have scads of respect for the Magic, but not to the point they'll believe this isn't their series to win.
Click below for all the video and some postgame quotes.
Should you be worried the Lakers wouldn't stick up for each other after a loss, check out Lamar Odom's comments about Kobe Bryant's performance tonight. Because Kobe tailed off considerably after a scalding hot first quarter, Odom (and everyone else on the team) was was peppered with "What was wrong?" questions regarding Kobe's fourth quarter- remember, there are a lot of folks asking questions at the Finals- and each time, LO stuck up for 24. A smattering of responses: "He's human, man. And look at the first quarter, he was inhuman. A superhero. We win together, we lose together. We win together, and we lose together. (Kobe's) the ultimate competitor. He's tough on himself. That's why he's so good... I've seen Kobe hit shots when he's winded, sick, with the flu. It happens. It didn't come down to one play... There's one guy I want to be in the foxhole with every time, win lose or draw. That's who I want to be with."
More from Odom:
Odom again, talking about what needs to change in Game 4. Also, this afternoon at shootaround, Odom talked about sitting up Monday night, imagining a last second shot to win, or of making the big play. I asked him near the end of the clip if he thought that might happen, with the game so close down the stretch. Great answer, and one that not surprisingly contains a football reference.
One final note on Odom: The backpack he was sporting tonight was a slick black leather number... with gold speakers on the side. Seriously. Speakers. I didn't know they could do that. "You can hook your iPod up to it. It's crazy," he said.
Andrew Bynum on the loss. Call me crazy, but based on his responses, I think he believes Orlando won because they shot really well. But maybe I'm reading too much into it. Watch and judge for yourself.
Jordan Farmar, who I thought played a very solid game save one late turnover, on the loss and how the team performed:
Q. The first half Orlando shot 75 percent, but it was like a two or three point game and you led most of the half. Did you take that as good news or bad news?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, I thought we controlled the tempo of the game, the way we wanted to play the game. They were able to come up with some plays at the end of the half to take that lead, but we told the guys at halftime we're playing the way we want to play.
Q. Even with them making all their shots?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, that tends to even out. That tends to even out in a game.
Q. Can you talk about what your last minute instructions were for the final minutes, seconds, that Kobe took that shot? What was the designed play for the final seconds?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, we consistently ran something similar down the stretch. Fish got a three, Kobe got through, got the ball to Pau. We had a number of plays that worked significantly, but they were able to strip the ball away and get the deciding stop, basically. And Pau came up with the ball and gave it to Kobe and then lost it again, and fouled, created the gap that made this game impossible to reach.
Q. Looked like you really cut back the rotation, Sasha didn't play in the second half, Shannon Brown didn't play at all. Can you talk about that decision?
PHIL JACKSON: I thought Jordan was playing well, so I stuck with him in the second half. He came out and I thought played very well consistently, made shots, kept our offense flowing. Trevor I thought was doing a good job. Luke had shorter minutes. I thought their bench is what was the difference really. Pietrus getting those 18 points off the bench.
Q. After Kobe had that 17 point stretch the last five minutes or so in the first quarter, why do you think he wasn't able to get back to that rhythm that he found?
PHIL JACKSON: Their defense. I thought they really started coming hard to him. Howard was consistently coming at him on shots, making it difficult. He never really got in rhythm again the same way he was at that time.
Q. Were you disappointed in your post players' rebounding? Lamar had two rebounds, Pau only had three, Bynum had four.
PHIL JACKSON: What kind of rebounds are they going to get?... They have five offensive rebounds in the game. That's a pretty good job out there from our team rebounding. Obviously making the amount of shots they made, there's not a whole lot of rebounds to be had out there. Lamar is playing Lewis at the three point line. Pretty tough to get some boards out of that. We understand the ramifications of where guys are on the floor, whether they get the ball or not.
Big rebound was Pietrus getting that offensive goal rebound, probably goaltending, but that rebound at the goal.
Q. Kobe has closed so many games for you guys and won them. He had opportunities tonight. Why wasn't he able to?
PHIL JACKSON: You know, we're all frail as humans. Sometimes not as much as others.
Q. Kobe seemed tired at the end. Is that why you sat him?
PHIL JACKSON: Yeah, I wanted to move it even farther. Seven minute mark is what I wanted to move it to, but it looked like we were going to have to get back on the seven and a half minute mark.
Q. But he looked tired, though?
PHIL JACKSON: Yeah. He'll say no.
Q. When Kobe is frustrated at certain times, he doesn't shy away from sometimes directing that at his teammates, sometimes it even looks like disgust. Do you ever think that has a negative effect on how his teammates play after that?
PHIL JACKSON: If they can't stand up to that, they can't play on this team. You have to be able to stand up to that and play through it. That's part of the expectations that we have for players is that they have to fulfill their roles. Kobe is demanding that way. I think we are as a coaching staff, too.
Q. Usually you take what the defense gives you. It seemed in that first quarter you were very aggressive and you just kind of went after it and got into a rhythm. Can you talk about that?
KOBE BRYANT: Well, I had some good opportunities and some spots where I could be aggressive. I got a pretty good rhythm going, knocked down a couple shots.
Q. You missed more free throws than you generally do. Is there something going on or just kind of one of those nights?
KOBE BRYANT: My rhythm was off at the free throw line. I just shot poorly from the free throw line. It was a bad night.
Q. You've been called the best closer in the game. Is it weird sometimes when you can't close it out, especially at the line or a couple big shots you took at the end?
KOBE BRYANT: It was disappointing. I'm used to coming through in those situations, the team trusts me to come through in those situations, and it just didn't happen tonight.
Just got to bounce back, be ready to go for Game 4.
Q. They shot 63 percent tonight. It seems like they're figuring out where you guys are going to be and they're throwing the ball back the other way and that kind of stuff. Do you feel like they're figuring out how to run an offense against you guys?
KOBE BRYANT: They're doing a great job making adjustments. It's on us to make adjustments, as well. Defensively some of the shots, close outs were there, they just knocked them down. We ran them off the three point line, they converted inside the arc. So we've got to do a better job on the close outs.
Q. Phil said you'll never admit it but he thought you were a little tired at the end. That's why he kept you on the bench for the first half of the fourth quarter. How are you feeling?
KOBE BRYANT: I felt okay (smiling).
Q. What did you think of Lamar tonight? He had a run of successful games but tonight only 11 points. Was he off a little bit?
KOBE BRYANT: No, he played all right. You want to talk about the offensive end, we can talk about that all night long. You can always improve the offensive end. Free throws is a gimme, obviously, you've got to knock down free throws. But we lost this game on the defensive end. We had been playing very good defense, and the team tonight shoots 62 percent from the field, 69 percent the first half. We've got to do a better job defensively. Lamar was fine.
Q. Talk about the next game.
KOBE BRYANT: You've just got to bounce back and be ready to go. This one was a tough loss for us, and we feel like we can play much, much better. So tomorrow just make the adjustments and get ready to go.
Q. The adjustments that Pietrus and Courtney Lee made on you tonight, they didn't have an answer for you in Games 1 and 2 but tonight it seemed like they were able to have a little success against you.
KOBE BRYANT: It's called four more guys. They threw the whole kitchen sink, and they did a great job staying on my body. They brought help from the weak side, simple as that.
Q. Can you give us your assessment of your team's offensive performance as well as your defensive performance tonight?
PAU GASOL: Overall it was a pretty solid performance from our end. We played hard, we competed, we fought throughout the whole game. We started out well and hold up until that first push that they were trying to, I guess, give us at the beginning of the game. But overall I think we played well.
Free throws, we could have done better, but every other aspect of the game, I don't think it's disappointing. It's more they shot the ball extremely well. They played a very good game. But I'm happy about the effort that we put out there and that we competed.
Q. A lot of the guys in the locker room were saying that you guys lost an opportunity to steal this game. Phil said he thought you controlled the tempo of the game. Which side are you coming down on?
PAU GASOL: I think for the most part we controlled the tempo of the game pretty good. They didn't get any fast breaks or too many easy looks. They tried to push the tempo, obviously, a lot more. But I think we did okay as far as controlling it. Obviously it was a close game. It's a game that we would have loved to win. But it kind of went the other way. I think we've just got to get ready tomorrow, make the adjustments that are necessary for Game 4, and definitely go after it in Game 4 and try to make it our game.
Q. What was different about Dwight Howard tonight in your opinion?
PAU GASOL: Well, obviously he played with a little more energy, and he's allowed to do physically a couple more things here at home. Basically that's what it was. He shot the ball pretty well from the field, the looks that he had. He didn't have that many looks I don't think. We were doing a good job controlling him pretty well. But obviously he sets a lot of screens, rolls on the lane, goes to the boards really hard and does a good job of that, and we tried to keep up with that and do a good job, also.
I think he had a good game. That's about it, nothing exceptional.
Q. Do you think he was able to get more catches down under the basket tonight than he was in the past? And how much tougher is he to defend when he does catch it that low?
PAU GASOL: Maybe he got a couple more touches in the paint than he did in the prior games, but it wasn't something too substantial I don't think. He was a little more aggressive, and as I said, he rolled harder to the lane and he's tough to guard because he's get to get hard, it's hard to hold him up. But even with all that, I think we did a pretty good job of holding our ground and trying to be there and make it tough for him.
So we've got to continue to do that in Game 4 because it's going to continue to happen.