Lakers News: Kobe Calls Out Gasol After Latest Loss

  @tony_riccobonoa.riccobono@ibtimes.com on December 03 2012 12:12 PM
Paul Gasol Kobe Bryant
Pau Gasol has been to three NBA Finals with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. Reuters

The Los Angeles Lakers suffered one of their worst losses of the 2012-2013 NBA season on Sunday afternoon. They lost to the Orlando Magic at home, 113-103.

Orlando entered the game as one of the worst teams in the league at 5-10. The defeat drops L.A. to under .500, once again.

Since head coach Mike Brown was fired just five games into the year, the Lakers haven’t improved much. With Mike D’Antoni on the sidelines, the team is 3-4. Los Angeles still seems to be adjusting to their new coach’s system.

Pau Gasol has had the hardest time under D’Antoni. The seven-footer is in the midst of his worst season as an NBA player, putting up 12.6 points per game, six points less than his career average. Gasol hasn’t had a 20-point performance since the season opener against the Dallas Mavericks.

Down the stretch of the Lakers loss to the Magic, Gasol was stuck on the bench. He scored just 11 points in 29 minutes. After the game, Kobe Bryant told the media that it was up to his teammate to change things.

"Put your big-boy pants on," Bryant said. "Just adjust. Just adjust. You can't whine about it. You can't complain about it." When D’Antoni first took over, Gasol claimed that he wasn’t getting enough touches on offense.

According to Bryant, it hasn’t been easy for him in D’Antoni’s system, but he’s made the proper adjustments.

"The reality is, I've adjusted, I've never run this many screen-rolls in my entire career. But I've worked on it. I've worked on handling the ball. I've worked on coming off of screens and making plays. I'm used to being in the post much, much more but you have to adjust.”

Despite the changes Bryant has been forced to make to his game, the veteran’s production has not suffered. He leads the NBA in scoring at 27.3 points per game. He’s done so on 48.9 percent free throw shooting, which is the best shooting percentage of his career.

Dwight Howard scored 21 points against his former team. The center was one of the main culprits in the Lakers loss, missing 12 of 21 free throws.

 "As a team, our effort wasn't there," Howard said. "We have to start the game with energy and play the whole game the same way. We didn't do that tonight, and they capitalized on it and they got a win."

The Magic dominated the fourth quarter, scoring 40 points in the final period en route to the victory.

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