Lakers – Hawks Pregame

After shootaround on Sunday morning, assistant coach Brian Shaw joined us to talk about the Atlanta Hawks (2-0), in Los Angeles for the only time this season. Here’s what he had to say:

Phil Jackson Pregame
As has become customary, one of the first questions addressed to L.A.’s head coach was about the health of All-Star Pau Gasol, set to miss his third straight game to open the season. The latest news is that Gasol will accompany his teammates on a two-game road trip through Oklahoma City and Houston, but his playing status has yet to be determined.

“We’re close enough (with his injury) that he’ll do some work on the trip (if he doesn’t play),” said Jackson. “You can’t be 100 percent on this unless you take forever to let it heal … He has to have some security that he’s not going to go out there and hurt himself.”

One of the primary areas that L.A. is missing Gasol, according to Jackson, is on pick-and-roll defense, where he says Gasol is among the league’s best. The skilled Spaniard’s offensive contributions go without saying.

Jackson added that he and his staff weren’t happy with L.A.’s effort level in Friday’s loss to Dallas, but that it wasn’t entirely unexpected after the emotional high of Ring Night. He also briefly addressed what the Lakers want to focus on against Atlanta, such as cutting out easy baskets and contesting perimeter shots.