Before the Lakers headed to the team plane bound for Phoenix, Phil Jackson stopped to talk to the media about last night’s win over the Bulls and Thursday night’s showdown with the Suns.
Phoenix isn’t the run-and-gun team that they were under Mike D’Antoni but that doesn’t mean they can’t score. They still like to get out and push the ball and light up the scoreboard.
Vladimir Radmanovic has been struggling with his shot, the numbers show it. Much of that can be attributed to how his teammates are setting him up. Vladi only took four shots over the course of 26-minutes last night (making one) and Jackson commented that only one other was a good look. “He’s a great shooter, we all know it, he’s got great range. How we set him up is important.”
In commenting on the trade that sent Shaquille O’Neal to Phoenix from Miami last season Phil said it was more about the Suns reaching a high point with their current group. That point wasn’t a championship so they made a move to give themselves a shot at reaching a higher point. “To go any farther towards the goal that is the championship they thought that maybe they should make the change. It was a philosophical change of a basketball philosophy that I think makes sense. They had knocked at the door a little bit and hadn’t got past the finals in the West. This is probably the time for them to try and get it while the window is still open, so to speak, with the group they have.”
The Lakers don’t have anyone seriously injured at the moment but a lot of guys are nicked up. “That’s what the season’s about. Working through injuries and getting back to as close to 100% as you can be,” said Jackson. Andrew Bynum walked out of practice with his knee wrapped but it doesn’t appear to be serious. “He’s alright. This is something he’s going to go through a little bit now and then. He got a little bang in the knee. We’re always conscious about that part of it,” Phil mentioned. Sasha Vujacic and Radmanovic are also less than 100% but will play through their ailments.
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