Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni says “find another team to root for” if you’re discouraged with the Lakers’ 13-15 start to the season.
“Why would I be discouraged?” D’Antoni said, per ESPNLosAngeles.com. “We’re fighting with a bunch of good guys that played well before, and they’ll play [well] again. If [the fans] are discouraged, then, you know, find another team to root for. I’m all right. We’re not going to give up. Are you kidding me? Discouraged? That’s not even fair to these guys.”
Los Angeles is without Kobe Bryant as well as their top three point guards in Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar.
“[Missing] the playmaking is a big deal, there’s no doubt about it,” D’Antoni said after L.A. mustered only 12 assists on its 30 field goals. “But again, we’re going to be fine. I don’t want to keep harping. I know we have excuses. We’re not going to hang our heads, and we’re going to go out and we’re going to battle Wednesday, and we’ll get this done.”
The Lakers beat Minnesota on Friday, the day after the team learned Bryant was diagnosed with a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee, but have lost two straight by a combined 46 points.
“I’m not discouraged, but we got to step it up,” said Pau Gasol. “As a group, understand what we’re doing out there and just give ourselves a chance. Somehow, on both ends of the floor, we got to make it hard for opponents. I think tonight, for the most part, we made it easy on them. They played the game they wanted to play. We had runs here and there, but overall, just not enough.”
The one bright spot during the Lakers road trip was the play of Nick Young, who averaged 19.5 points in the two games.
“We ain’t got no point guards out there. Pau was out one game, he’s still battling a cold,” Young said. “You know, we got a lot of odds against us. We just got to somehow fight them odds and beat them odds and go out there and play for each other, really.”
The Lakers host the defending champion Miami Heat on Christmas Day.