“Cause we’re old as s—,” said the 34-year-old Bryant when asked why a lack of energy has been a problem for the Lakers all season. “What do you want? We just got to figure out how to play when we don’t have that energy. We got to change things up a little bit defensively. We got to figure out what we want to do offensively, figure out what we want to do on nights when we don’t have those legs or have that energy.”
“You just saw an old damn team,” Bryant continued. “I don’t know how else to put it to you. We’re just slow. You saw a team over there that was just younger and just had fresher legs and just played with more energy, and we were just stuck in the mud. I think individually we all have to figure out how to get ourselves ready each and every game to have a high level of energy. That’s all that is.”
The Lakers are 15-16 but they can take solace to the fact that they’re 6-2 in their last eight games. Still, they’re in quite a hole as they are below .500 and 1 1/2 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the eighth seed and final playoff spot in the West.
The biggest problems have been energy and consistency from the Lakers. In losses, they have looked completely listless. While they are 6th in offensive rating, the Lakers are still in the bottom half defensively; they are 17th in defensive rating this season. They are 26th in forcing turnovers and are 25th when it comes to their own turnovers. At least, they’re taking a little better care of the ball as of late but they still have a long way to go.
As far as their age goes, the concern here is that the elder statesmen of the team may play too many minutes. Mike D’Antoni has been known to ride his guys out and use a shorter rotation, one of his many criticisms as coach. It doesn’t help that their younger star, Dwight Howard, is still not 100 percent healthy.
The Lakers continue to say process and progress. But time goes by fast and we’re already in the beginning of January. If they don’t figure it out pretty soon, time will run out and by the time April gets here, they may be a chance they could be in the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs, let alone the championship.
And for Kobe Bryant, losing gets old as s—, too.