You've read the postgame report, perused the box score, and reviewed the Lakers Live! chat. Time now to hash it all out, and there was much to hash after Sunday's 95-92 loss to the Pacers at Staples Center.
Among the subjects kicked around:
1. Why, while they were both losses, Sunday's to Indiana felt a lot different than Friday's against the Jazz.
2. Kobe Bryant scored 41 points and carried the team in the second half, but did he dominate the ball too much early, effectively stagnating L.A.'s O against a solid defensive team?
3. Pau Gasol: Not a good night from the floor (5-15) or in the minutes column, as the increasingly overworked big man logged 45:30 of burn. The team, said Phil Jackson, needs Andrew Bynum back. Now. And this was all said before the game.
Plus, reader questions, and a remarkable impression of a baby giraffe. Check it out, and look below the jump for postgame video from Jackson, Gasol, and Ron Artest...
Before the game, Phil Jackson expressed some displeasure about Andrew Bynum's delayed return. As he noted, all of the Lakers' eggs are in this particular basket, so to speak. When the time will arrive to cook a metaphorical omelet remains a mystery, and even The Zen Master's famous patience can be tested:
"This is something that's supposed to take place after the season and he's supposed to be ready by the season and we built our team around that fact. It wasn't by the end of exhibition season. It was like he would be able to start and go through preseason and go on with us. Well, everything got delayed. His operation wasn't done on time. Andrew was late to his operation. There was a whole myriad of things that have gone on in this thing."
While Jackson went out of his way to mention how the tricky nature of Bynum's injury and surgery makes an exact ETA tough to pin down, the trickle-down effect is palpable. If this felt like prodding by Phil, that's because it likely was.
Dave "McTen" McMenamin wrote about the situation, and here is the video of Phil talking about it:
More from Phil on Pau's minutes, plus his evaluation of the performances by Artest, Shannon Brown and Kobe Bryant:
For his part, Pau conceded fatigue is a factor at times -- I personally think he's downplaying the matter -- and that his minutes are definitely on the high side. But if these games took place in the Octagon, Gasol wouldn't be a candidate to tap out. "There are some night that I feel more tired than other," explained El Spaniard "That's a reality. I'm not gonna complain about it."
With Artest, self-evaluation can be a circular, if highly entertaining, conversation. This was no exception.
In his own Artest-ian way, Ron conceded he's not playing at his highest level, a goal made more difficult while playing fewer minutes than normal. (Specifically, fewer late-game minutes.) And considering Matt Barnes' conversely high level of performance, this may end up a continued adjustment for Artest, who's not always the quickest to adapt. Still, he enjoys the challenge of picking up a new role and either way, if the Lakers wins, he's happy, even if that means sacrificing individual accomplishments.
He also had a great line about not playing at this stage with the goal of earning Kobe's trust:
"I trust myself. If you've been playing basketball for so long, you don't wait for somebody to trust you. It's like, if you met a girl, you ain't gotta teach you how to talk to her. You just get your swagger on and you talk. It's the same thing... I'm not trying to impress the girl. She's seen I got a haircut. You know what I'm saying?
"You just go out there and play."