The Los Angeles Lakers’ quest to ‘three-peat’ got off to an inauspicious start on Sunday. The seventh seeded New Orleans Hornets stunned the Lakers at Staples Center, 109-100, to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven opening round series. The Lakers are just 3-9 all time when losing the first game of an opening round playoff series. Of course, a 1-0 lead used to carry more significance when the opening round used to be best-of-five. Nevertheless, Wednesday night’s game becomes critically important for the defending champs.
On Monday, Derek Fisher joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about Sunday’s loss. Fish and DP chatted about the Lakers’ problems defensively, the incredible challenge of winning a championship, let alone multiple titles in a row, how hard it is for a veteran team like the Lakers to stay motivated year round, and how LA will have to make life more difficult on Chris Paul if the Lakers are going to get back on track in the series.
On how some people might have forgotten how good Chris Paul is:
“No I don’t think I forgot. I don’t think our team forgot. But the reality of it is it’s not a matter of who it is — if he’s in the NBA, he can do something, and if you don’t play the proper defense, guys are going to take advantage of it. For somebody that’s as good as Chris Paul is already, if you make mistakes on top of that then it magnifies the situation. So that’s what we have to correct. It still doesn’t mean he won’t have good games, but he can’t have great games because we’re making bad decisions and not doing things correctly.”
If he would personally prefer to resume the series today or if he likes the fact that Game 2 is not until Wednesday:
“Personally I think we could use the days, not from a rest standpoint or because of our veteran team, but really to improve upon some things that we need to improve on even at this stage of the season. You know, having Steve Blake out, Matt Barnes has been banged up and missed some days of practice, Andrew Bynum’s banged up, Kobe’s in and out of practice this season. So we need more practice; we need more time together to continue to push to become the team we need to become in order to win a championship. We already have the guys and the team that’s capable of winning it, but as you work through a postseason you actually do have opportunities to get better. To have two days off in the playoffs is definitely an opportunity to get better.”