"In the paint, we're awful and we've got to get tougher," the Lakers' coach said before Tuesday's game against Phoenix. "If we want to be a good team and if we want to get better, then that's definitely a point of emphasis."
Toronto power forward
Gasol needs to quickly improve defensively despite apparently being bothered by a mild sprain in his right ankle.
"We've got to have him back [ability-wise] as soon as we can, obviously, because we're not going to win with
But Gasol isn't coming off a serious injury, so D'Antoni has some advice.
"Just be aggressive," he said. "He knows what to do. He's been in the league long enough."
It's not just Gasol's fault.
To be fair, the Lakers have posted some career highs of their own.
Xavier Henry had 27 points against Portland, Jordan Hill scored 24 against Detroit and
Bryant had nine points in his season debut Sunday, committed eight turnovers and then said he wasn't worried about team chemistry because the Lakers hadn't played like "gangbusters" without him.
"I have to disagree with that," D'Antoni said Tuesday. "We were 6-2 in our last eight and I thought we played extremely well, winning three on the road. That's not quite right. I'm really proud of what the guys did."
D'Antoni, though, said he was eager to incorporate Bryant into the lineup.
"It's difficult. If it was anybody else, it would be kind of tragic," D'Antoni said. "But it's Kobe Bryant. We're happy to do this. It's just the necessary process that we have to go through."