Lakers talk freely about what went wrong in loss to Kings
Let’s get this straight.
The Lakers lose to the lowly Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on Friday night and the media get blamed for the loss?
“Yeah, I’m blaming this on you guys,” Lamar Odom said after the Lakers dropped a 100-95 decision to the Kings. “You guys are jumping to the Boston game.”
Odom was joking.
But the media did begin asking about the Lakers playing the Boston Celtics on Sunday, many ignoring the Kings (11-33) in the process.
Still, the Lakers had put a gag order in place, saying no one was allowed to talk about the Celtics until after the Lakers finished off the Kings.
Lakers co-captain Derek Fisher was the one who said no one could talk about the Celtics.
All the good it did.
Again, Odom was asked if he really was going to lay blame for the Lakers’ inexplicable loss to the Kings on the media.
“Yep,” Odom said, half-smiling. “I’m blaming it on you.”
The Lakers and Celtics played in the NBA Finals in June, with the Lakers defeating Boston in seven tough games.
Sunday’s game already has been hyped in many circles.
After all, the Lakers and the Celtics have a long-standing history and they are the NBA’s top rivals.
With that in mind, was it possible for the Lakers to have one eye on the Kings and one eye on the Celtics instead of focusing totally on Sacramento?
“No, we didn’t do that,” Andrew Bynum said. “We’ve been warned for a long time not to play a game like that.
“As far as my game individually, I disrespected [DeMarcus] Cousins in the first half. I didn’t play defense and he got off to a blazing start, so that kind of put us in a hole. That just lets me know I didn’t play aggressively from the start of the game.”
It was a game in which the Lakers’ big men were outplayed by Sacramento’s big men.
Cousins, Sacramento’s rookie center, had 22 of his 27 points in the first half.
Kings backup center Samuel Dalembert had 10 of his 18 in the third quarter, and reserve forward Carl Landry had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lakers’ Pau Gasol had just nine points on four-for-11 shooting, Bynum had 12 points and Odom had four points, missing all seven of his field goals.
“Like I’ve said, teams they come in here and they are looking for a ‘W’,” Odom said. “You don’t do the small things that you need to do defensively and take people out of the game. … They got comfortable.
“But I don’t think anybody looked ahead. We got beat. We got our [butts] beat. … We got hit on the chin.”
Now, at least, they can look ahead to playing the Celtics.
The Lakers know it will be a challenge.
“It’s just being tough, being physical,” Odom said. “They make you work.”
Odom said he watched the Celtics beat the Trail Blazers in Portland on Thursday night and came away impressed with how Boston played.
“They wear you down,” Odom said. “They play basketball the right way. They are a complete team.”
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