Andrew Bynum reaches for a loose ball in front of Coach Mike Brown and teammate… (John Raoux / Associated…)
The Lakers were due for a day off Saturday, having just played back-to-back road games against NBA powers before taking a charter flight that put them back in Los Angeles around 3:30 a.m.
They didn't get it.
Coach Mike Brown required his players to report to the team's practice facility, where they watched a replay of their 92-80 loss to the Orlando Magic from the previous day. Brown then conducted a light workout before calling players into a back room individually to further break down tape of their games.
It's all part of the process of trying to learn under a new coach in a condensed season, which on days like Saturday can feel particularly painful.
"I would have never done that in the past," Brown said of making his players work following a hectic few days. "This is a different circumstance, so I required our guys to do it [Saturday] and at least not within earshot, I didn't hear one complaint."
Fans continued to gripe about the Lakers' offense, last seen during a 108-99 victory over Houston on Jan. 3.
That was the only time the Lakers have reached triple digits during a season in which they are averaging 92.9 points. They fell short of even that threshold during their two-game trip, which also included a 98-87 loss to Miami.
But after reviewing a replay of the Orlando defeat, Brown said his team's offense wasn't as bad as it might have appeared.
"We got great look after great look by moving the ball and moving bodies," he said, "so for the most part I was pleased with our offensive execution. We just have to step in and knock down some of the shots that we missed."
The Lakers shot 42% against the Heat and 38.2% against the Magic, a big reason their road record dipped to 1-6.
Now the Lakers return to Staples Center, where they are a far more palatable 9-1. They will play Indiana on Sunday and the Clippers on Wednesday during a brief homestand in a season that won't pause just because they could use extra practice time.
"We're trying to make a lot of things happen in a very tight and compressed window," guard Derek Fisher said. "We've done a decent job, but decent with this organization sometimes isn't good enough, so we have to figure out a way to be more than above average even in challenging circumstances.
"We have the right group of guys to figure it out and we'll just keep coming in here every day trying to get better."
Brown apparently will make sure of it.
No hard feelings
Josh McRoberts fulfilled a dream when he joined his hometown Indiana Pacers before the 2008-09 season.
The honeymoon lasted 2½ years. Indiana tried to trade the power forward for Memphis guard O.J. Mayo last season, but the deal was never consummated. McRoberts said the Pacers then told him they wanted to bring him back for this season but never called.
"It kind of ended in a bad way in my opinion," McRoberts said, "but I'll always be thankful for the way that it started and the time that I spent there."
McRoberts had his best NBA season with the Pacers last year, averaging 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds in 22.2 minutes.
"I don't hold any grudges," McRoberts said. "That's part of the business side of things and they're having a great season and I understand they felt like they needed to move in a different direction. It worked out well for both of us."