Prior to Tuesday evening’s classic “trap game” against the better-than-you-think Oklahoma City Thunder, Phil Jackson’s primary goal was to make sure L.A. wasn’t already thinking of Wednesday’s matchup with Utah.
“(Oklahoma City) found a rotation, they got comfortable under their new coach and started playing with confidence and sharing the ball,” he said. “Defensively they still have a lot to learn, but they’re athletic. It’s a team that can be problematic because they have two very good players (Kevin Durant and Jeff Green) in their second year and they’re feeling a lot of optimism.”
To here the rest of Phil’s comments – such as some Lamar Odom commentary and an update on Kobe’s health – you can listen by clicking the play button below:
Odom Ready to Play
When asked how his knee responded to Tuesday evening’s win in Houston, Lamar Odom likened himself to Humpty Dumpy … You know, the whole fall-down-and-get-back-up-again thing.
Odom’s said he’s feeling “all right,” and will indeed face off against the Spurs (as expected), which is a good thing because Odom was terrific in the Western Conference Finals last season. He averaged nearly 13 points, 10 boards, three assists and over a block in L.A.’s 4-1 series win.
He’s particularly important in the matchup because the Spurs will occasionally go small with Duncan in the middle and Bruce Bowen or Kurt Thomas at the four, when Odom’s defensive versatility becomes a big factor.
Phil Jackson Pregame
On the toughest thing about the Spurs: “One of the best things San Antonio does is coming out in the third quarter and having a really tremendous burst of energy … We have to be prepared for that.”
Jackson explained that the Spurs are still running the same things as they always have under Gregg Popovich, but that they probably shoot more threes.
Jackson didn’t take a reporter’s bait to go critical on Andrew Bynum, instead suggesting that he did “fine” against the Rockets last night despite foul trouble and just one rebound. Read into that as you will.
The Spurs really spread out the floor, Jackson said, meaning the Lakers may have to match their lineup.
Phil’s been impressed with Josh Powell’s ability, though at the same time, the Lakers did recognize Powell’s skill when they signed him.
Sasha Vujacic is still hurting back in Los Angeles, though his back spasms are dissipating.
A few bullet points from Phil’s pregame chat: