Spaniard believes a lack of discipline is key reason behind struggles.
Los Angeles Lakers star Pau Gasol was left bitterly frustrated after his team suffered a 118-98 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.
The 33-year-old blamed the team’s woes this season on a lack of discipline, with 12 of the 15 players on the roster set to be without a contract for next season, while he also indirectly suggested coach Mike D’Antoni should consider making adjustments.
The Lakers are currently 15 games out of a playoff spot with 25 games left to play, and despite their injury crisis that has derailed their season consistently, Gasol is unhappy with what he is seeing from the team.
“That’s why you have to be disciplined and implement discipline, that’s how you kind of make that better or make that not a factor. I don’t think there’s a lot of discipline right now,” he said, according to ESPN.
The Spaniard also brought up another issue in that D’Antoni’s decision to play small will continue to backfire against big teams such as the Pacers, with the Lakers unable to fully utilise their speed if they are out-rebounded so heavily.
While D’Antoni suggested that it wasn’t a case of rebounding being the issue, he insists that the team just didn’t play well enough, with the Phoenix Suns perhaps an ideal comparison as they have adopted a small line-up against the Pacers previously and won their season series 2-0.
However, the duo did agree on the fact that there are too many individuals not playing for the team currently, and with changes being made before the trade deadline, it is has effected the balance of the roster.
“There’s just too many individual actions right now. It’s really not a good flow and rhythm out there.If we see a teammate open, we have to make sure that guy gets the ball. Otherwise, it’s really deflating. It takes a lot of energy away from individuals.”
Gasol was keen to avoid placing any responsibility on Kobe Bryant, who is still sidelined with a knee injury while Steve Nash has also been absent from the team as he continues to battle with nerve-root irritation.
Nevertheless, the Lakers star has insisted that he is taking it “one day at a time” and trying to stay cool as he looks to make an impact in what could well be his final few months with the franchise.