Lakers guard Kobe Bryant broke his weeklong media silence yesterday after a 96-80 loss to the Miami Heat at home. Prior to the Christmas Day game, Bryant had not spoken to the media since before the Lakers’ 19-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks at home on Tuesday.
After a fast start to the season, the Lakers have not been playing up to their potential recently. The defending champs have now played just 10 games against teams currently in playoff spots. In those games, the Lakers have a record of 4-6.
The schedule will be picking up for Los Angeles and, when it does, the Lakers need to pick up their intensity.
While the Christmas Day game looked bad, it’s just one game on a day where it is easy to be distracted.
"It's like these games mean more to our opponents than they do to us," Bryant said. "I think we need to get that straight—play with more focus, put more [emphasis] on these games. I don't like it...We know what we're capable of doing, and that's part of the problem."
If the Lakers want a chance at a three-peat, they need to be playing better than they currently are. The good news is Andrew Bynum is back in the lineup, but just how much impact can he have before he gets hurt again?
What about Pau Gasol? Is he being used too much?
What the heck is wrong with Artest? His offense is atrocious, but is his defense worth going four-on-five on offense?
The Lakers have a lot to figure out before the playoffs roll around.