Kobe Bryant discussed a variety of topics, including the defense, the team's mindset and Carmelo Anthony's relocation to New York. He also praised the efforts of Andrew Bynum, whose 15 rebound/three block showing personified the phrase "defensive presence."
"He did a fantastic job," gushed Bryant. "He was extremely active. We funneled everything to him and the blocks that he didn't get, he really altered shots. The shots that (Atlanta) even made were tough ones, so he just had a fantastic game."
Click below the jump for videos of Shannon Brown, Steve Blake, Phil Jackson and Pau Gasol.
Shannon Brown, on the win and what is necessary to keep improving:
Steve Blake recorded just two shot attempts, but he visited the line six times, indicative of an aggressive attack of the rim and baseline. This is rare for Blake. Then again, so at times are shot attempts, period. Considering how often I've yammered for the guard to become more offensive-minded, I wondered if this was his plan heading into the game or a specific reaction to Atlanta's defense:
"A bit of both. Just trying to play my role and if I see gaps, try to attack them. At the same time, they presented some lanes for me."
Blake also discussed the balance between scoring and running the offense, which remains a discovery in progress:
"You just gotta find your spots, pick your spots," noted the reserve. "There's some nights you're gonna be able to be more aggressive. Other nights, you're just gonna have to run the offense and let other guys do their thing. I'm getting more comfortable in it, and just try to do the best I can."
Fans and media often frame the Lakers as a team willing (and sometimes able) to coast through the regular season, then suddenly "flip the switch" and instantly discover a playoff gear. Phil Jackson was asked if this notion was even possible:
"No," Jackson explained. "You have opponents. You have travel. You have foreign arenas that you have to play in. There's all sorts of things that go into it. It's not just, 'Okay, now we're back 100 percent.' We've done this before. We know the next game can be a game that we're not proud of if we don't play as well. It's about consistently building a game and having that ability to be purposeful in what we're trying to do."
PJ also admitted periodically reminding players the gradual nature of rounding into championship form can't be shortchanged or sidestepped.