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Phil Jackson on Pau Gasol, practice habits

November 1, 2009 |  6:10 pm

Nuggets from Phil Jackson's pregame press conference:

Pau Gasol will travel with the team this week, but playing is a different story. Asked if they're going to wait until Pau is totally healthy to get him back on the floor, PJ's response was interesting: "No, this isn't something you have to be (100% back). You can't be 100% on this unless you take forever and ever to let it heal. I think that's one of the things that is the issue right now is that probably his initial diagnosis was the fact that it takes six weeks for a hamstring to heal. We don't have six weeks. Right now, it'll be three weeks as of tomorrow. So that's half the time, supposedly. We just have to figure it out, and there are ways to come through this without having to jeopardize him. But he still has to have some security that he's not going to go out there and hurt himself." 

After Friday's loss to Dallas, PJ made a point to note how Thursday's practice leading into the game was poor. I asked if the team responded better Saturday afternoon. "I talked to the coaches, we didn't feel 100% about the practice but we felt better about it. The effort was there, but the lack of enthusiasm bothered us more than anything else."

What accounts for that?

"I don't know," he said. "We talked a little bit about it, where we lost a little bit of our enthusiasm for playing ball and getting it out there, and going after it. Some of it is just the malaise coming out. The ring ceremony is a high energy night, and then we come out Friday and there's no energy in the building and everybody's talking about something else other than basketball. There's the World Series going on, whatever. Whatever else is coming up. We just weren't focused to take care of our business."

They don't let us watch practice, so I don't know exactly how well things went. To some extent, we might find out based on Sunday's result against the Hawks. Either way, it's a public reminder to his team that focus and energy aren't givens, that the team must put in the work with an attention to detail to get where they're going.