See below for the media roundup:
Dave McMenamin, ESPN Los Angeles.com, on Kobe's unhappy game-winner:
"None." That was Kobe Bryant's assessment of the improvements the Lakers made after he hit his seventh game-winner of the season, evading two Raptors' bodies and four Raptors' arms when he tossed in a 17-foot fadeaway jumper from the baseline with 1.9 seconds left... ...Even though Los Angeles will spend Tuesday night resting in the win column for the first time in a week, they don't feel like winners. "I'm throwing this [expletive] in the garbage," Bryant said. "Our defense in Orlando was much better. The effort we had in Orlando will make it tough for teams to beat us four times in a series. This thing tonight was garbage." At Monday's practice I asked Bryant if it was a good thing that a call didn't go their way in Miami and his last-second shot against the Magic missed because a 2-1 road trip wouldn't have made the Lakers reassess their situation like an 0-3 one would. "It's been happening a lot," Bryant said about his team winning when playing poorly and being able to gloss over the problems lying under the surface." A lot of the game winners I hit have done that." This one didn't..."
"...With the Lakers again being slow, cautious and indecisive en route to an eight-point halftime deficit against Toronto, the coaches left the players alone in the locker room an uncommonly long time. It was way too quiet on the team's bench that first half, but it was downright silent in that locker room of guys scared to lose a fourth consecutive game. Until (Derek) Fisher spoke up. "Just go out there and play hard," Andrew Bynum said the thrust of Fisher's words were. Fisher said he wanted the guys to put all their petty issues aside and stop acting as if they were on the court only because they were being paid to be. This is supposed to be what they love do to, so let loose and go get it. It's hardly the first time Fisher has morphed into, as Kobe Bryant calls him, "Derek Obama." However, as Bynum noted about the speech after the Lakers rallied to beat Toronto: "This was one that was really good..."
"...Jackson presented a wide range of factors that are hurting the team, including poor screen-and-roll defense, the team's offense against Toronto's zone, its shooting and the numerous hand injuries to Bryant (right index finger), (Pau) Gasol (left hand), Artest (left thumb), Shannon Brown (right thumb) and Jordan Farmar (left pinkie). But Jackson found the main issue involved the team's hunger level, which he said will be hard to replicate from last season. "We don't have that, not that we can't reclaim it. At some point, that's what we're trying to do," Jackson said "There are a number of ways we can find our way through this. Some of it is just about communication between the players. Some of it is just about having that spark that happens between collaboration. Some of it is just about making the games exciting for ourselves..."
More Recaps and Game Reports:
News and Notes:
Kobe and Andrew Bynum are seeing their minutes rise, Los Angeles Times
Sasha Vujacic's return adds bench depth, Los Angeles Daily News
Hand injuries hurting the Lakers, Land O' Lakers