MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Another loss was swallowed up by the theatrics surrounding it, a common theme nowadays for the Lakers.
Coach Mike D'Antoni didn't necessarily disagree with Pau Gasol's dour thoughts on the Lakers' offense. Yes, there had been too much one-on-one action.
But D'Antoni definitely didn't like Gasol sharing his opinion publicly.
"The thing I just don't appreciate, and I think every coach [too], you just keep it in house," D'Antoni said Wednesday before the Lakers lost to Memphis, 108-103. "It's very easy just to come over and talk [privately] about your frustrations. We'll try to work something out. But to go to you [media] guys and to do it in the papers, that's disturbing. I just don't think that's the way to go. People should understand that we're all trying to solve the same problems."
Gasol, however, didn't think he said anything out of the ordinary after pointing out the Lakers exhibited "too many individual actions" in a 118-98 loss Tuesday to Indiana.
"Yes, there was some frustration but I don't think there was nothing out of line or nothing that went too far," Gasol said Wednesday. "I stated something obvious to me. I don't think I said anything too crazy."
But the back-and-forth had kept going back and forth via reporters.
D'Antoni didn't understand why Gasol suggested there needed to be more discipline handed down by D'Antoni after the Lakers lost to Indiana.
"I have no idea what he's talking about," D'Antoni said. "We should have had more ball movement [Tuesday] but I don't know what that has to do with discipline. That has to do with guys trying too hard, guys not really understanding the system totally and not getting ingrained into it.
"I think in that aspect I can understand what he's talking about but I don't know why he used that word."
D'Antoni seemed irritated overall by Gasol's criticism but didn't raise his voice with reporters, preferring to counter with statistical analysis and explanation of his theories on offense.
"We want a certain type of basketball and we're trying to establish that," D'Antoni said. "Clearly, the numbers say that when you spread the floor and move the ball, get up and down the floor, then we have a lot better chance to win. And that's what we want to do.
"We want to establish our identity. This is how we're going to play and we're going to get better at it. And we're going to push the ball and we're going to evaluate talent. It's frustrating some players, I understand it."
D'Antoni didn't back down after Gasol's complaint that the Lakers didn't play well with a small-ball lineup. D'Antoni again assigned slender forward Wesley Johnson to a larger opponent Wednesday, pitting him against Memphis 7-footer Marc Gasol a day after Johnson drew robust Indiana power forward David West.
Marc Gasol had 14 points and 12 rebounds, but Johnson played well too, finishing with 18 points and making four three-pointers.
In fact, D'Antoni wondered if Gasol criticized the wrong concept.
"The frustration always comes out on the offensive end, where we're OK. It never comes out on the defensive end, where we don't stop anybody," D'Antoni said. "That's where I get frustrated because if you're going to get upset about something, let's get upset about points in the paint, second-chance points, not getting back on defense."
The Lakers (19-39) actually didn't play poorly against Memphis (32-24) and trailed by only three after a 29-foot three-pointer by Jordan Farmar with 14.9 seconds left at FedEx Forum.
But Courtney Lee made two free throws, Johnson missed a three-point shot and somehow the season got a little worse, the Lakers falling to 6-26 since Dec. 21.
Twitter: @Mike_BresnahanCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times