Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni checks the scoreboard during a 118-98… (AJ Mast / Associated Press )
MEMPHIS -- Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni didn't necessarily disagree with Pau Gasol. Yes, the Lakers' offense had too much one-on-one action Tuesday against Indiana.
But D'Antoni definitely didn't like Gasol's sharing his opinion with reporters after the Lakers' 118-98 loss to the Pacers.
"I think it’s a product of people getting frustrated and losing and everybody on one-year contracts. The thing I just don’t appreciate, and I think every coach [too], you just keep it in house," D'Antoni said Wednesday. "It’s very easy just to come over and talk about your frustrations. We’ll try to work something out. But to go to you [media] guys and to do it in the papers, that’s disturbing. I just don’t think that’s the way to go. People should understand that we’re all trying to solve the same problems."
D'Antoni also didn't understand why Gasol suggested there needed to be more discipline handed down by D'Antoni.
"I have no idea what he's talking about," D'Antoni said. "We should have had more ball movement [Tuesday] but I don't know what that has to do with discipline. That has to do with guys trying too hard, guys not really understanding the system totally and not getting ingrained into it.
"I think in that aspect I can understand what he's talking about but I don't know why he used that word."
D'Antoni seemed irritated by Gasol's complaints but didn't raise his voice with reporters, preferring to counter with statistical analysis and in-depth explanation of his theories on offense.
"We want a certain type of basketball and we're trying to establish that," D'Antoni said. "Clearly, the numbers say that when you spread the floor and move the ball, get up and down the floor, then we have a lot better chance to win. And that's what we want to do.
"We want to establish our identity. This is how we're going to play and we're going to get better at it, and we're going to push the ball and we're going to evaluate talent. It's frustrating some players, I understand it."
D'Antoni said the Lakers could always make adjustments during games if necessary.
Gasol was baffled by D'Antoni's starting slender forward Wesley Johnson against burly power forward David West on Tuesday. The Lakers were out-rebounded by the Pacers, 62-42. Johnson started out guarding Memphis center Marc Gasol on Wednesday.
Gasol was also irritated after the Indiana game by what he called "too many individual actions."
Lakers newcomers Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks combined to make 12 of 29 shots. D'Antoni defended them Wednesday.
"The two new guys coming in, they've had half a practice with us so obviously we've got to teach them and get them to buy into the system and understand what we want," he said. "They are playing very hard and they're giving everything they've got, especially defense."
Then D'Antoni wondered aloud whether Gasol criticized the wrong concept.
"The frustration always comes out on the offensive end where we're OK. It never comes out on the defensive end where we don't stop anybody," D'Antoni said. "That's where I get frustrated, because if you're going to get upset about something, let's get upset about points in the paint, second-chance points, not getting back on defense. Then we're making progress."
D'Antoni defended Bazemore, who has set career highs in scoring each of his first three games with the Lakers, including 23 points on eight-for-19 shooting against Indiana.
"I think Bazemore's playing really well. I think he's so active on defense and he's got a chance to be a really good player," D'Antoni said. "He needs to be able to fit in a little bit better and that will come with film sessions and talking to him in practice. I think he's got a bright future."
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