The Champs Are Reeling Heading Into the All-Star Break

February 17, 2011 – 11:45 am by Chris Fedor

There is a lot of time left before the NBA playoffs start, but it’s getting pretty clear that the Lakers of this year are just not the same team that has won the last two NBA Championships. While they could be a team that is just going through the motions until the playoffs hit, they look old, they don’t have very much athleticism, they look slow, they look disinterested, and they look nothing like a Championship contender. After starting their seven game road trip with four straight wins over Boston, New York, New Orleans, and Memphis, the Lake Show dropped their last three games including a 20 point beat down at the hands of the Charlotte Bobcats and then they followed that up with a loss against the worst team in the NBA. Phil Jackson and the Lakers can try and spin it anyway they want to, but the bottom line is the champs appear broken heading to the All-Star break and if they don’t fix it soon there will be no three-peat in Hollywood.

Phil Jackson joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about what the toughest part was about the 20 point loss against Charlotte, whether or not he has gotten so frustrated that he has thought about walking away like Jerry Sloan, what this year’s team does that could be better than the last two Championship teams, and if he thinks they need to add a player.

What the toughest part was about the 20 point loss against Charlotte:

“I think the most embarrassing thing is when players stop playing for each other and covering for each other defensively. It bleeds over to the offense, but we had a disconnect and guys stopped covering for each other defensively.”

If he has gotten so frustrated that he says to himself, I’m going to go away like Jerry Sloan did:

“That mood attacks you at times as a coach where you keep beating your head against the wall and keep emphasizing the same message and it doesn’t get through. Coaching is about wills. You have to out-will players at times and have them give up their selfish motives and buy into team play.”

On what this year’s team can do better than the last two:

“They’re capable of controlling games with ball movement and therefore creating a pace that they want to play in and playing at that pace. Our pace has slowed down considerably since the beginning of the season when we were leading the league in average points, but that has changed entirely when Andrew comes back and it changes the level of our game and how we play it when Andrew came back just before Christmas. He’s a big influence on our game and we have to play the game the right way. If we don’t we can get hurt.”

Whether or not he thinks the team needs to add a player before the deadline:

“I’d like to add a player that we’ve got sitting there already to come back and that’s Matt Barnes. He’s been out five weeks maybe, four weeks and he’s one of the reasons why our game has slowed down and our second unit has had a little bit of difficulty getting things going. Luke Walton has played okay at times, but he does add an element to our game that’s important.”

Listen to Phil Jackson on The Dan Patrick Show here

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