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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant share concerns about Lakers offense

Fresh off the Lakers’ tremendous meltdown against the Wizards on Wednesday, Pau Gasol was a guest on a radio show in Spain on Wednesday and spoke candidly about the Lakers’ offensive woes this season.

NBA Maniacs transcribed the interview in Spanish, and Ball Don’t Lie provided the following translation of his comments:

“(There is) lack of concentration, overconfidence and a certain level of selfishness, in general. I’m not a person or a selfish player, but we have to move the ball more, and we have to look further the team game, because we have enough talent to use different players.”

Kobe Bryant had a dreadful shooting night on Wednesday, needing 31 shots to score 30 points. That included stretch where Kobe shot 1-for-8 as the Wizards mounted their 21-point comeback. With that in mind, Gasol might have a point by saying the Lakers need to share the ball more. Good luck getting Kobe to buy into that.

But Gasol’s comments do represent an apparent growing dissatisfaction among the players with the way Mike Brown has been running the offense. Kobe reflected similar sentiment just before the All-Star break.

“We’ve got to work too hard to get points,” he said, according to the LA Times. “I’m sure the coaches will talk about it over All-Star break but we’ve got to make our jobs a little easier. We’re going against defenses that are sending double-teams all the time. We’ve got to have a little more movement — free Andrew [Bynum] up, free Pau up, free myself up so I don’t have to work against two guys all the time.”

The Lakers this season are averaging one of their worst points per game figures in the shot-clock era and are dead last in three-point shooting percentage. Earlier this week it was reported that some of the Lakers were planning a mutiny in protest of Brown’s scheme in favor of implementing aspects of Phil Jackson’s Triangle offense, although nobody currently on the Lakers’ coaching staff has experience with it. In fact, Kobe even reportedly ran a part of the Triangle in a recent game on accident just out of habit.

While it’s clear the Lakers need to make adjustments offensively, there’s not a great sense of urgency as some of their remarks would suggest. After all, they beat the Timberwolves Friday to improve to 24-16, and they recently had an 8-2 stretch that included a win over the Heat last Sunday. Things aren’t all that bad for the Lakers. Perhaps they’re just victims of their own expectations.

Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, US Presswire

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