In case you missed it, Elliott has an intriguing story on some post-game comments made by one Kobe Bean Bryant.
When asked why the team seemed, in Bryant’s words “edgy” with its recent run of just-good-enough-to-win wins, Bryant said:
“We’ll beat the good teams,” Bryant said. “It’s Boston that’s our barometer. That’s the team that beat us. They’re the standard. They’re the benchmark. That’s the team that beat us, so that’s how it’s going to be.”
Consider the gauntlet thrown down.
Asked if it’s a championship or bust, Bryant said, “I’m cool with that. That’s better than, ‘Damn, I hope we make the playoffs.’ It’s exciting because you have an opportunity to win a championship. Having seen the other side of that, I’d much rather have this situation than the other one.”
The main culprit for the Lakers shaky victories of late has been some rather inconsistent defense. Lately, it tends to come and go on a whim.
How was the defense so good in the first week or two of the year and so unpredictable now?
Bryant attributed that to a lack of practice time during the season, to keep what is a relatively new scheme in tune.
“It’s just not having the time to work on it,” he said. “We had training camp and had a lot of practice days in between games so we had a lot of time to really brush up on it. But as the season goes on you play so many games you kind of lose that a little bit.”
Could the recent menu of sub-.500 teams the Lakers have been served have anything to do with the lack of consistency? In other words, are the Lakers playing down to their competition?
“No, that’s not an excuse. I appreciate it though,” Bryant joked with the questioning reporter. “We want to continue to sharpen the edge. We don’t have slip-ups.”