Lakers need to be in a less giving mode in Game 2
SAN ANTONIO — The Lakers left the site of Monday’s practice, a local high school, muttering that the court was a little too hard, forcing some unexpected bounces.
In other words, it looked just like Sunday’s game against San Antonio.
The Lakers committed 18 turnovers in their 91-79 loss, nothing out of the ordinary for them during a season in which they almost always had more miscues than their opponents.
The problem now is that their scoring is so low without Kobe Bryant, they can’t afford to give the ball away when they have it.
They’re pledging to be more careful in Game 2 of their first-round series Wednesday.
“We’ll get better,” said Dwight Howard, who had four turnovers Sunday. “We’ve just got to get into a better rhythm. Steve [Nash] coming back, he has to get into a rhythm, where to find guys. We’ll be fine.”
The Lakers averaged 14.6 turnovers a game during the regular season, tied for fifth-most in the league.
Their problem in Game 1 was partly simple ballhandling — Steve Blake had three turnovers in the first quarter and San Antonio’s Tony Parker had two the entire game.
The Lakers were also guilty of trying to force the ball down low to Howard and Pau Gasol. Feeding the big men will continue.
“We’re inside-out now. We’re full-blown. We’re going to keep going there,” Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni said.
Even Gasol was doing some forcing, committing a season-high six turnovers while trying to take on more of a distributor’s role without Bryant.
“We’re trying to put the ball inside all the time into a tight spot,” D’Antoni said. “Some of it was just we mishandled the ball. We’ve just got to be a little more careful with the ball.”
The Spurs, by the way, committed only nine turnovers, part of the reason they were able to get away with shooting a miserable 37.6% in Game 1.
The Lakers won’t be going back to the same practice site Tuesday. They can only hope Wednesday’s game doesn’t produce similar error-prone results.
Reserve guard Jodie Meeks did not practice Monday because of a sprained left ankle but “should be ready” to play in Game 2, D’Antoni said.
Meeks was injured while driving to the basket in the second quarter of Game 1. He rolled his ankle when he landed and was called for an offensive foul on the play.
He left the game to have the ankle retaped and came back in the third quarter, finishing with four points on one-for-four shooting.
Meeks started 10 games for the Lakers, including their last two in the regular season, but was bumped back down to reserve status when Nash returned in Game 1.
The Lakers have warned fans about buying tickets for Games 3 and 4.
Forty to 50 people are typically denied access at regular-season home games because of fraudulent tickets, a number that increases to 100 to 125 for a playoff game, according to the team.
“Lakers fans can save themselves the aggravation and frustration of being denied access to a game by buying tickets directly from us or at Lakers Ticket Exchange at Lakers.com,” said Tim Harris, the team’s senior vice president of business operations.
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