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Time to Digest and Forget 25-5 Start

Unscheduled until Tuesday against the Clippers, Coach Phil Jackson gave the Lakers Thursday off, scheduled a light practice today and set the next full practice for New Year’s Day afternoon.

“It’s going to be like taking time off, and then restarting ourselves,” Jackson said.

Jackson covered a long list of trouble areas with his team at Wednesday morning’s shoot-around--many focusing on the rhythms of the triangle offense and belief in sharing the ball--making sure the players did not go into the new year overconfident and comfortable.

Jackson added that he had hoped to use this time to settle into the team’s still-incomplete, long-delayed El Segundo practice site, which was supposed to be ready for the beginning of the season but now may not be ready until March or later.

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“Actually, I told them this was the time . . . we’d have our new building,” Jackson said wryly.

“Everybody knows we’d be in that building by this time, we’ve been promised by the construction people that we’d be in this building, I’d been promised when I took this job that we’d be in this building by October--then I could live with December and then we thought January would be the time where we could really kind of home in and do some things, using both video and practice to kind of coordinate where we’re at.”

Until then, the Lakers will continue to practice at various sites, and, the players say, maintain a steady, disciplined attitude, despite the hot start.

“I think the first 30 games are kind of behind us,” guard Derek Fisher said. “We finished 25-5, which is great. But I think right now it’s almost like 0-0, and let’s see if we can go 25-5 again over these next 20 or 30 games.

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“I think the break will really help us, because it will really allow us to forget about what happened last week and allow us to focus on the next day.”


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