Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard showing frustration on the Lakers’ struggles

CHICAGO – For two players who have stressed patience throughout this long and arduous season, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard are recognizing the urgency this needs to end.

The Lakers’ 95-83 loss Monday to the Chicago Bulls didn’t just extend the team’s losing streak (three) or poor road record (5-13). The venue just brought a visible reminder that Bryant’s far from reaching that sixth championship to tie Michael Jordan.

“I am a big history guy,” Bryant said. “Playing here in this arena with these incredible fans, you’re in the house [that] M.J., [Scottie] Pippen, P.J. built. To put this kind of brand of basketball on the floor is just not acceptable.”

If only Bryant had Phil Jackson to figure things out. Instead, the Lakers chose Mike D’Antoni and his up-tempo offense. It hasn’t worked. The Lakers have gone 12-19 under his watch and are far from matching the 110-115 points he boldly predicted the team would score each game. They’ve only achieved that feat eight times.

“I’ve got it down to about 70 [points], so we’re working on it,” D’Antoni said with a hint of sarcasm. “We’re going the wrong way. There’s just not a lot of flow. It’s just not good movement. Just tough. It’s agonizing to watch.”

Bryant wasn’t the only player upset after shooting seven of 22 from the field and marking his third game that he shot below 50 percent. Howard told reporters to “look at the stat sheet” to explain why he posted only five points on 2 of 5 shooting, nine rebounds and four turnovers.

“It’s simple. Play inside-out,” Howard said. “There’s not nothing I can do. Just continue to play. Not get frustrated. As hard as it is, I can’t get frustrated.”

Yet, the Lakers are continuing to show such signs after falling to 12th place in the Western Conference.

Pau Gasol expressed unhappiness with coming off the bench. Howard looked disengaged on the court. Bryant looked upset after he threw a jump pass that hit Howard in the back.

“It seems like the harder we try, the faster we fall,” Howard said. “We just got to figure out a way to stay strong throughout all the crap that’s keeping us down. It’s tough. It’s tough as a team, it’s tough as individuals because we want to do so good. But, it’s frustrating. The only thing we can do is keep looking up and try to pull ourselves up.”

To do that, Bryant suggests D’Antoni needs to make change parts of his system.

“We’ll really have to self assess and look at what we’re doing,” Bryant said. “We’ll make some adjustments and change some things.”

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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  • Jon K

    Mike D’Antoni doesn’t know anything but how to run his system.

    This team is utterly incapable of playing with his system… and if you get rid of Pau Gasol, it only gets worse.

    The problem IS the system… and the system is Mike D’Antoni.


    • Jon K

      For God’s sake, even bring Mike Brown back and have him run a San Antonio Two Towers system. Anything but this “Six Seconds Or Less” system with a roster that is suited for a half-court game.

      Does D’Antoni think he’s coaching the Clippers just because he’s in Los Angeles.

      Fire that bum!

  • Jon K – You need to look at the bright side. At least Earl Clark has become a pleasant surprise!!

    • Jon K

      Yes, like Jordan Hill last year.

      However, this is chance. It is not developing young talent/role players like ALWAYS happened somehow under Phil Jackson.

      If we blow up this team so we can shoehorn our roster into Mike D’Antoni’s System which will NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER be able to win a Championship because HE PLAYS NO DEFENSE, I will have a literal meltdown and it will confirm that Jim Buss is that much more of an idiot than I thought.

      First Mike Brown, NOW Mike D’Antoni… talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire!

      The problem here is CLEARLY Mike D’Antoni and the only thing keeping him here is that Jim Buss was so stupid to give the mouthbreather a THREE-YEAR contract, thus throwing away over 10 million if he is fired… which he needs to be.

      What is even more infuriating is that Mike D’Antoni in no subtle terms is blaming his incompetence on Pau Gasol… one of the most talented big men in the game.

      Which is utterly insane.