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Bryant, Lakers still have work to do

April 8, 2010 |  1:15 pm

The Lakers have lost four of their last six games and they aren’t getting the traction they want with the playoffs looming. Kobe Bryant admitted during the Lakers’ shoot-around Thursday at the Pepsi Center that it has been tough for his team and that it has been an “uphill battle for us” this season.

“But, we’re not really fretting or overtly concerned about it, but we are concerned,” Bryant said.

The Lakers will play the Nuggets Thursday night in Denver. Denver took the Lakers to six games last season in the Western Conference finals and is the one team in the West that believes it can beat L.A. in a series. The Nuggets lead the season-series, 2-1.

Bryant has heard fans and some in the media say the Lakers will “flip the switch” when the playoffs began next week and all will be right in Lakerland. Not so, said Bryant. “The playoffs don’t take care of anything,” Bryant said. “For us, it’s mentally being in-tuned to what we need to do at this point, understanding how we are going to execute, offensively and defensively.”

The Lakers have wrapped up the best record in the West with five regular-season games left.

Still, that's not an accomplishment to Bryant.

"We were expected to win the West. I expected us to win the West,” Bryant said. “I expected us to have the best record in the league. It didn’t happen. So from that standpoint, it’s been a disappointment. And at the end of the day, in June is what we judge our season by. And if we don’t do that [win the NBA championship], it’s a failure.”

-- Broderick Turner in Denver