Monday (11/26) practice

A long practice for the Lakers today, not shocking since a) they’ve lost three in a row and b) their practice time has been limited of late by travel. Today was a good opportunity for Trevor Ariza to get used to his new teammates on the court. Much of the post-practice conversation today centered around Lamar Odom and what the Lakers need to do to stop this three-game skid.

Here’s what Odom and Phil Jackson had to say today…


(You looked like you were a bit more active last night…)
“Yeah but, you know, we lost. But I was a little more active.”

(Is it more difficult for you on offense to play without the ball?)
“My game is based on versatility, so whether I have the ball or not, I have to come through and make plays. I won’t use that as an excuse. I’m just playing bad.”

(You’re being pretty hard on yourself these days…)
“I always am. I expect a lot out of myself. This year, I came in expecting a lot and I got off to a bad start. So hopefully the worst is behind me.”

(Are you in good shape physically?)
“I think so. I feel good. I’ve been running up and down, getting bumped and lifting (weights). I feel strong. I just want to get my timing back. The more I play, the better I’ll be.”

(What did you guys work on today?)
“We came in and we just worked on some X’s and O’s and execution. I think the problem is, we don’t sustain enough energy. Even when things aren’t going well, you still have to play basketball with a lot of energy and effort. Especially when you’re at home, you have to get the crowd into it and make plays.”

(Is that a product of having a young team?)
“Nobody was saying we were young when we were 7-3. We can’t use that as an excuse. We’ve got veterans on this team. Good energy is infectious. When things are going good, it’s easy to be jumping up and down and high-fiving and stuff like that. It’s when things get tough, that’s what kind of brings you together.”

(Is this the time to get things turned around?)
“If we have more games like last night, the season will be a disappointment. But that won’t happen, because we’re going to bring good energy and keep the energy up, keep the spirits up. Hopefully down the road, games like that, we’ll start to win them.”


(Can you pinpoint what has been going wrong in the last few games? Is it youth?)
“I think we had a bad finish in the Milwaukee game. That’s always disappointing. Then we didn’t go into Boston with the kind of energy I wanted. But holidays, and all that kind of stuff, they’re always different. We have to play through that. That’s an inexperienced team there, a young team. Last night, we let the game get away from us, in short order.”

(Lamar looked more active last night…)
“Lamar played all right. He just didn’t take any shots. All of his shooting was done by the second minute of the second half. He just didn’t get involved. The offensive foul was a wacky call, and that was a shot. He has a post-up offensive foul and those both but him in jeopardy. When you sit on the bench, there’s nothing else you can do about that. That’s it.”

(What kinds of things do you need to work on?)
“We’re just trying to get ourselves back in rhythm as a team.”

(Is it tougher for Lamar in this role, to play without the ball on offense?)
“He just has to find his way around the offense and put himself in a position that gives him an advantage. His advantage, a lot of times, is a post opportunity. It’s a little different now, because he has played some power forwards in the past and that brings him to the basket for defensive rebounds. Now he’s playing some of the wings, out on the wing, and that doesn’t get him as many defensive rebounds, perhaps. So he doesn’t have that open-court opportunity. But that’s some of the things he will find.”

  • Michael Teniente

    Great report. I enjoy reading your Lakers blog.