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Post Production Isn’t to Jackson’s Liking

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Times Staff Writer

Kobe Bryant gets the shots, the points and the acclaim.

Chris Mihm, Kwame Brown, Brian Cook and Andrew Bynum get forgotten.

The Lakers reached the midpoint of their schedule with an above-.500 record by relying on Bryant, sometimes at the expense of the post players, who Coach Phil Jackson said had done an “adequate job” as a group.

“Obviously I’d like to have more post-up game,” Jackson said before Sunday’s game. “Some of that comes with the territory with the fact Kobe’s scoring so many points this year that we don’t have the ball in the post as often with our big guys.

“Chris is having a good year, playing well and shooting well and we’d like him to continue to have that kind of a focus. Kwame’s coming along, I think, as a player. I like the way his direction has been since he went back in the starting lineup” two weeks ago.

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Mihm is averaging 10.3 points and 6.6 rebounds. Brown is averaging 6.1 points and six rebounds.

Bynum was part of the daily sport-show clips last week with two points on a spin move against Shaquille O’Neal, but he sat out the next three games. Bynum, averaging 1.4 points and 1.6 rebounds, needs to work on getting up and down the court a little better, with Jackson calling it “a big part of his game that he has to learn.”

“Hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to see more of him this year in the second half of the season,” Jackson said.

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The Lakers have four days between games, a mini-break a month ahead of the All-Star break.

Jackson will give the team a day or two off from practice, allowing players time to recuperate from nagging injuries.

Bryant will be the biggest beneficiary after dragging a sore ankle and a sprained wrist into games over the last two weeks.

“I think it cost him a little bit during the Phoenix game,” Jackson said. “I don’t think he shot as well as he does.”

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Laker guard Aaron McKie is still a couple of weeks from returning from a quadriceps tendon injury, Jackson said. McKie recently ran with other players during practice without being cleared by trainers, who promptly removed him from the court.

“We’re looking at perhaps realistically some time in February,” Jackson said.

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