Before tonight’s game, Coach Jackson stressed not looking too far ahead into the future, both against the Knicks tonight and on the team’s impending nine-game road trip.
When asked about the importance of establishing momentum against New York tonight following three consecutive losses, Jackson said, “We hope to. New York’s really competitive. They came back in the second half of the game we played back at the Garden a month ago, showed some resolve to speak. They’ve played competitively the past couple of weeks.”
With the toughest part of the schedule looming, Jackson also said that certain players are not playing to the best of their abilities.
“Some guys are feeling the pinch of having to perform and not really going out there and playing hard, worried about making mistakes, worried about certain aspects of the game instead of just playing,” said Jackson.”
Jackson was also asked whether or not he addressed Luke Walton and other players individually after the forward’s poor execution on the team’s final play against Cleveland on Sunday.
“This is something they have to work through, players go through stuff,” said Jackson, revealing that he spoke to the team as a group, not just Walton.
The team will need Walton and the rest of the Lakers to step up before leaving STAPLES Center for the trip, with Andrew Bynum and Trevor Arizas‘ collective injuries beginning to take their toll on the team in the win/loss column.
“We could have our whole squad here to play with, that’s a bad time,” Jackson said. “As far as a obligation we have to try to press upon these guys to not look too far ahead and to just play the game, do what’s in front of you right now, don’t worry about your next trip…just play the game.”