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Pau Gasol sheds some light on Lakers' team meeting following loss to Cleveland

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Before the Lakers jetted off and went their separate ways during NBA All-Star weekend, there was still one matter to discuss: That touchy subject of the loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That game provided all indications that the Lakers were ready for the All-Star break before it actually began, so it was a tad ironic that attitude made it necessary for the Lakers to delay it as they discussed the current state of their play.

"We have talked," Lakers forward Pau Gasol said Friday during his media interview session as part of the NBA All-Star festivities at the J.W. Marriott hotel in downtown L.A. "We talked as a team. We talked and we addressed certain things. Hopefully we'll see a difference."

The scavenger hunt remains active for exactly what topics made the Lakers' minutes during their team meeting; Gasol didn't offer many specifics. But there's one item to cross off, according to Gasol -- dissension. There's also one topic that the team surely discussed at length: the Lakers are lacking consistent chemistry.

"Understanding the situation we're in and putting everything aside and appreciating and knowing we're there for a reason," Gasol said when asked what the team emphasized during the meeting, which he said also included the Lakers' coaching staff. "We're all in this and we can't make this worse and we have to play right. It won't happen by people trying on their own. As much as you can try individually, you have to put your efforts together in order to accomplish the team's success. ... It's not like our team is not together or we have problems internally. It's just we haven't been playing as well as we should for whatever reason. That's something we're trying to fix."

There are surely plenty of items. The first obviously entails avoiding losing to teams with the league's worst record. But that's only a fragment of their problems. The Lakers (38-19) aren't in any realistic position to surpass the San Antonio Spurs (46-10) for the top spot in the Western Conference, and they're constantly having to monitor the Dallas Mavericks (40-16) above them and the Oklahoma City Thunder (35-19) below them, so any additional losses could have tangible ramifications in playoff seeding. The Lakers have fallen near the middle of the pack in both offense (102.25 points a game, eighth in the NBA) and defense (96.4 points, 11th), field-goal percentage (46.8%, seventh) and assists (22.07, ninth).

But the Lakers' inconsistent performances make it difficult to accurately gauge the team. It was just last week, after all, that the Lakers' 4-0 start to a seven-game trip, including a crucial win at Boston, had assuaged fears about the state of the team and whether Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak would make any trades. Kupchak said that it's "unlikely" the team will make a trade before the Feb. 24 deadline, but didn't rule out making a move that would give the Lakers a better shot at three-peating. The Lakers' seemingly never-ending pendulum swing in performances also makes it hard for Gasol to accurately point to where the problem lies.

"There's been a lot of hot and cold this year and a lot of contrasts unfortunately," Gasol said. "We need to find a certain level of consistency. I think we can do that. I don't know about trades. I don't know what's going to happen. I have no control over that. I think with the team we have and the weapons we have on our team, we should be perfectly fine. Things are not clicking at this particular time."

--Mark Medina

Twitter.com/latmedina

E-mail the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com

Photo: Pau Gasol faces the media onslaught during Friday's session at the NBA All-Star weekend. Credit: John G. Mabanglo / EPA

 
Comments () | Archives (28)

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These guys need to play together. Just play. You build chemestry between players when they play with joy, not just praticing because they're employees. Play the ball game, have fun, know your team-mates, know where they'll be and hit some shots.

Posted by: Edwin Gueco | February 18, 2011 at 08:37 AM
____________________

Thank you Edwin G., I'm doing well here, Philippines has never been better in the past 10 years! Our President is doing well, no controversies or whatsoever. It's all good. Indeed, PACMAN is the real thing. He is very humble, he loves his fellow countrymen, he helps the poor, and yes he plans to build a Regional Hospital from his own funds! God bless Manny Pacquiao. I sincerely hope he plays on the All Star Celebrity game. I heard he'd be teaming up with Justin Beaver & Jimmy Kimmel. PACMAN is a very good basketball player, too!


LAKERS ALL DAY!!!

"Thanks Troll Man. However, the jerry west statue thing bother me. Why would bill russell, pat riley, shaq etc be there but not kobe. This was a man who took a chance on you when he sent a proven center in vlade for you. i am sure with your talent you would have been a star in charlotte. But no way you would have 5 rings by now. What possible reason that you couldn't attend this event live? kobe bryant you are perhaps the most selfish person in al of sports."

Boldly written by island Priest

But. like clockwork, Kobe Cup-Dwellers jump at any opportunity to righteously
defend his classless acts, each as creative as the last...with the only certainties being that another is on its way, and that his lackeys will stand in line to apoligize on his behalf.

"For whatever reason, If it wasn't a valid reason for us, I'm sure it was a valid reason for him.”

Without a doubt...

"Give Kobe a break, he's earned it."

Of course he has...

“But whatever his reason is for not attending as long as Jerry is cool with it is all that matters."

Well, so long as Jerry’s cool with it...and we all know that if Jerry was offended,
he’d certainly have said something about it to the press...

Uh Huh.

People don’t hate you because they ain’t you.
They hate you because you are you.

How bout' them Cavs, huh?

Go Kings!

Sonnybelfast

From watching the interview of Carmelo Anthony, there's no question that this whole process is wearing on him. I also got the feeling that he would play for the Lakers if they had a legitimate offer on the table. Other than the first round draft picks that NJ is offering, I'm sure that the Lakers can put together a nice offer. The caveat being that the Lakers could not also trade for Billups so the Nuggets would have to find another team that wants him.
Incidentally, I'm sure that one of those picks is the one they got from the Lakers in the Sasha trade, Sheeesh!
Lamar, Artest and Ebanks for Carmelo Anthony. It works, it can happen, and Melo would sign with LA. Come on Mitch, Dr. Buss. you may not get another chance like this one. This trade could also attract D. Howard next year pending CBA changes.

Thanks JovBatz44, I understand the delay on your response because of the time difference, you're just waking up over there. That's why I said that is a true sacrifice to follow the Lakers from the other side of the world. Same situation with SonnyBelfast, if we dislike his postings at least give him the credit for the efforts he's extending to the Lakers Blog.

To Sean, I have something to explain on his misunderstanding with NBA4ever with regards to my posts this morning on the word "Revolutionary". That word does not refer to government take over although it is "commonly" referred to it. It's an adjective that refers to a GM who will not make drastic changes or to quote Webster: "bringing about a great change". Trading any of the starter would be a drastic step from Mitch K. point of view. However, as experienced players, of course they are aware of the problems but would not make any kind of changes to a b2b Champ. If he were Mark Cuban or Colangelo, those guys are daring enough and will always want to win in any kind of deal so they will be willing change horses in the midstream. I'll bet if the Lakers don't win it this season, there will be some changes in July in line with the thinking of the new Coach.

Also thanks for liking my post NBA4ever. I hope we cleared the air, Sean.


@HOBBITMAGE… Why the team is not playing well is usually a combination of different factors. Go back and re-read the Jerry West interview about what is wrong with the Lakers defense. For the Lakers, it’s all about how they execute their offense. If we turn the ball over 19 times, we’re going to get killed in transition. If we take long jumpers early in the shot clock, the long rebounds will lead to fast breaks. If we don’t run the Triangle Offense efficiently, then we’re not going to always be in best position to defend in transition. I’ve never said that effort didn’t factor in and you should realize that offense and defense are inextricably connected. I am confident that we will flip the switch in time.
……………………………..
@SEAN… Thanks for having my back. I knew when I made the statement that a log of respected bloggers would disagree with me. The conundrum the Lakers find themselves stuck in as that they need to play efficient inside-out basketball to optimize their height and length advantage over other teams. The chicken and the egg to doing just that is obviously Andrew Bynum. Playing like he is right now, his toughness and defense give us a slight edge over the Celtics. If he gets back his full hops and athleticism before the playoffs, we will see a new Lakers team that can dominate the league.
……………………………..
TOM

I hope that when PJ is gone that the Lakers would continue employing the triangle in their game,Brian shaw will be able to keep the same coaching staff and bring in 1 or 2 additional assistance who are knowledgeable about the intricacies of the Triangle Offence and Phil coaching philosophy.Well even if Phil retires I hope that he will want to contribute in some way or the other in the Lakers organisation,or he is given the chance to.

NBA All Stars at the Staples and it's now raining hard w/ cats and dogs. Even the Northern Trust Open of JW will be rained out this weekend, poor Jerry golf ratings had already gone down with a lowly Tiger what more of a wet Pro Golf in the West.

When we were leading 4-0 heading to Orlando, that was a great feeling. Imagine, we will host the NBA in our city of the b2b Champ, that alone should have been enough motivation to go for straight plus. Well, we lost 3 consecutive painful losses, even Kobe is embarrassed to show up at JW's recognition day. As a Superstar host, it is hard to face ur visitors, it is hard to answer the repeated questions: "what's going on Kobe?" Will he cover up w/ straight face to fellow All Stars. He could say, "it is a just a ploy, watch out for us in the playoffs." That will elicit loud laughter, for sure Lakers will be the talk of the town this Sunday. Therefore, these rains and those three losses by the b2b Champ were really bad promo of ASG in LA

Edwin - you can't say that the reason Kobe didn't go to JW's statue unveiling was because he was embarrassed about how the road trip ended. Did you read somewhere where he said that? Do you have special knowledge about it? Don't you think it's more likely he had something else come up (or was previously planned) that he had to take care of? Jerry West is his guy. He wouldn't have missed it for a selfish reason like he was too embarrassed.

The hardest part of being a lakers fan is watching three big men leaving the key at same time while on the D and never looking over their shoulder to block out or simply cut off the passing lanes. Lamarr and Pau are notorious amongst our fans for waiting for a rebound to come down and allowing even guards to get rebounds. Andrew has been protecting his knees which is understandable, but every fourth quarter, unless we have a big lead, Odumb and Gafoul lose what little D they have and wont even cover up for eachother. We have a few bust on our team (Blake, Smith, Ratliff), and we have some weak links (Artest on offense, Fisher on speed, Brown on Defense) but the good news is Boston has a Blueprint to winning our three peat. Fourth quarter, buckle down D and team D.

Not sure team meetings will help much at this point. These guys know what needs to be done, they just need to go out there and do it, and do it well.

~

@LRob: I knew you'd like Ledisi(who wouldn't?) :-)

~

Since it's All-Star Weekend, I'm gonna go with some music that's appropriate for all the festivities. Enjoy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diDdziUn28U&feature=related

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063462/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwGiQ_uHoWo&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUuBbA8lJHU

~


Let's go Ls...all the way to a 3-peat!!!!!

@Edwin

Dude you just brought up a great point, went over my head. The reason why the Kobester didn't attend Old Jerry's ceremony @ Star Plaza was simple: he didn't want to get jumped by the media, and when he's out and about. He will arrive either later today or he will take the red eye from an undisclosed location. If however the Lakers don't flip the switch and step it up a notch, and we lose this year it will likely go down as one of the worst seasons in Lakers history.

Justa,

Just speculating of what could have happened. It is not selfish reason but just a natural escape of the situation, you see it's a big party of NBA big shot. Have you ever been in a All Star place, with all aspiring professionals are there in town. It is ruckus and noisy as it can be. I know my observations are hurting to all lakerholic fans, it's like a troll talking but no, it is coming from a longtimed fan who has been a Laker fan before some posters here have been born. Hey, those are just observations u can take it or treat it like a grain of salt that can easily be dissolved on water.

Jerry West deserves his statue for his playing and management skills but his comments about certain players in the lakers organization probably caused some disgruntled feelings toward him. You have to consider the influence these younger men have on the bb court. There is dunking , cussing, rap music, big money, Poor role models ( Bikini Shaq, Gambling Barkley, Cheating Jordan, Killer Williams, and so forth.) Bring in the Howards and the Duncans and change the lakers image instead of winning championships and crying about their personalities Jerry west/Kupcake/Buzzard. Kobe is L.A. right now and for better or worse unless there's a divorce. Bring in Howard and Deron W. and let Bryant play the 2 spot instead of 2,3,4.

Edwin - you can't say that the reason Kobe didn't go to JW's statue unveiling was because he was embarrassed about how the road trip ended. Did you read somewhere where he said that? Do you have special knowledge about it? Don't you think it's more likely he had something else come up (or was previously planned) that he had to take care of? Jerry West is his guy. He wouldn't have missed it for a selfish reason like he was too embarrassed.
Posted by: justanothermambafan | February 18, 2011 at 07:34 PM

After you tell Edwin that he 'can't say that the reason Kobe didn't go to JW's statue unveiling was because he was embarrassed about how the road trip ended'

you follow up with 'He wouldn't have missed it for a selfish reason like he was too embarrassed'.

Do you see what's wrong with the picture here?

Insomuch as all any of us seem able to do is speculate, let me pitch in my two cents...

Did his granny die? Was his wife or a child admitted to the hospital that day?
Was he arrested for assault again?

If it wasn't any of those three, or something comparable...

May I suggest that he was just being Kobe...you know...your hero.

Go Kings!
Go SF Giants!
Go SF Niners!
Go Pac Man, go (but please do stop gambling and get out of politics!)

Sonnybelfast

Justa,

Almost forgot.

Edwin's speculation is plausible...don't you think?

You know, about Kobe being embarrassed and all.

Aren't you?

Go Kings!

Sonnybelfast

Nice posts Terold, great basketball talk like Coach Miller in analyzing why Lakers are losing? All of us could not agree among our bigs who is really better? Gasol, Bynum and Odom but the truth all of them left the post open. They make Kwame, Nazr or Session super stars with easy lay ups and open lane jump shots. Our perimeter guards Kobe, Fisher, Shannon and Blake are no match with those perimeter shooters. Then, comes our poor offense lots of TO's, missed shots, missed FT's. Ask yourself if you're a baller, how can u really win.

GDUB,

Smooth house/electronic sound. I think I'm going to get this CD. The singer on Secret Sun was Jill-esque..I'm assuming she was a special guest or is she on other tracks?

Oh puullleaase! Lakers and all their excuses. As a laker fan I'm sick of hearing them.

Still hoping for the miracle trade by mitch. Blake is a bust. Artest - 5 years was too long a contract. He did pay off last season so does that make it a wash that he is now a mental case and a liability to the team? Theo and Joe more wasted money. And of course Luke.

Trade bynum, gasol, fish, freaking anyone but make it a team that is exciting to watch.

This team is just pathetic - and as written on SSR blog - almost hoping this team doesn't win it all or the regular season just proves why the heck are we even watching or care?

LakerTom,

you wrote: Why the team is not playing well is usually a combination of different factors. Go back and re-read the Jerry West interview about what is wrong with the Lakers defense. For the Lakers, it’s all about how they execute their offense. If we turn the ball over 19 times, we’re going to get killed in transition. If we take long jumpers early in the shot clock, the long rebounds will lead to fast breaks. If we don’t run the Triangle Offense efficiently, then we’re not going to always be in best position to defend in transition. I’ve never said that effort didn’t factor in and you should realize that offense and defense are inextricably connected.

my response: 1st. We agree that turning the ball over 19 times is bad. That
should lead you to the obvious question: Why are we turning over the
ball so much? Bad passes. Bad dribbling. Which shouild lead you to the
next question: Why are gifted passers like Kobe, Pau & Lamar part of a
such a high turnover rate? After 3 years, they have to know the offense
right? right? So, why are we getting picked?

I'm going to call you on something right now.

you wrote: If we don’t run the Triangle Offense efficiently, then we’re not going to always be in best position to defend in transition.

my response: Who said anything about best position? How about 2nd
best position? How about any position? We just lost to the Cavs. Kobe
& Pau & LO just lost to the cavs.

re: the offense/defense thing. Having a rough night on offense is no
excuse for not trying on defense and you know it. You wouldn't coach
your grandchildren to play that way. Are you really going to make
excuses for them?

Edwin Gueco is awesome.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!!

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

HERE IS WHAT SATURDAY NIGHT IS ALL ABOUT BLAKE GRIFFINS GREATEST DUNKS-THIS KID IS WITHOUT A DOUBT THE MOST EXCITING PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE!!TO SEE HIS GREATEST DUNKS GO HERE----------------- http://www.blakegriffinjerseys.webs.com/

BLAKE GRIFFINS GREATEST DUNKS

GO HERE-------------- http://www.blakegriffinjerseys.webs.com/

safe bynum for next year... straight trade BYNUM for DWIGHT HORWARD.

safe BYNUM for next year..... straight tarde bynum for DWIGHT HORWARD.

Kobe is L.A. right now and for better or worse unless there's a divorce. Bring in Howard and Deron W. and let Bryant play the 2 spot instead of 2,3,4.

Posted by: Terold | February 18, 2011 at 09:05 PM

------

We all know the triangle style offense is not fun to watch, and Jerry would love to bring 'Showtime' back to the Lakers at some point. I know we have a bad season but we have to stand pat, the Lakers management knows this as well, and the core has shown they can win as well, the only wildcard and how our injuries will affect the season. They will not pull off trade to change the core of this team, any combination of our core can bring any other super star in a sign a trade - or Jerry Buss will open his big-fat wallet again and get them. For the time being, the feeling around the front office is, we can't really change our roster so why risk it, besides we don't have appealing contracts to trade right now. This is where we find out what Mitch is really made out of. The Lakers are looking 2 or 3 years ahead, when D will or D Howard, are in the future for this team Kobe can play his position and we can start a new Laker era.

I meant the wildcard is the bench learning the /-\

To bad the lakers cannot, but it would be time to move Kobe on to another team. Some of the problem with this team rests on his shoulders. He has been playing terribly: poor shooting and poor shot selections, ball handling issues, poor passing etc. He simply is playing poorly all away around. Perhaps it is because of his injuries, or ego, but I have felt for some time that that he hurts this time more than he help it at this point. Time for some new blood.


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