Madison Square Garden isn’t really on Broadway, it’s a block over on 7th Avenue, but, hey, you get the idea. The Lakers played the Knicks on Thursday, on the figurative stage at the World’s Most Famous Arena, and got thumped. Then they got hammered in the court of public opinion. Here’s a sampling from TNT’s commentators.
Steve Kerr on the Lakers’ lack of confidence: “The Lakers have no offensive confidence, no rhythm. When you don’t play with a precision offense, you end up with poor spacing defensively. Maybe when the Lakers come back with (Pau) Gasol and (Steve) Nash and their offense improves, maybe their defense can improve as well.”
More from Kerr on the Lakers’ lack of sound defense: “They’re slow laterally defensively and it kills them.”
Shaquille O’Neal on how the Lakers can improve their defense: “Right now, they are making all the experts look correct. they really aren’t playing well. The Lakers don’t have it … they don’t have the look of being ready and they don’t have the look of fire. There is only one guy that has that look and he tried to carry them.”
O’Neal meant Kobe Bryant.
Kenny Smith on what the Lakers are lacking: “When you don’t know what your role is, the game plan is, or how you are going to win, you are uncertain. That uncertainty leads to coolness, leads to a lack of trust, leads to a lack of ball movement and lack of defense. That uncertainty is what the Lakers are actually doing under Mike D’Antoni.”
Charles Barkley on D’Antoni: “He’s going to have to change his system (when Nash returns form a fractured left leg). They don’t compete defensively.”