There is a new Zen Master and his name is Kobe Bryant. I noticed it early on in the season when the usually emotion-filled-sound-bite Bryant was delivering lines laced with more accountability. After losing this many games, one would expect Kobe to throw somebody under the bus. Maybe Dwight for not making free throws. Maybe D'Antoni for trying to force feed an offense that -- in its current state isn't -- working.
He takes a deep breath...
“What I think I’ll try to do is do more by doing less but doing more.” - "Zenobe" Bryant after Thursday night’s 107-116 loss to the New York Knicks.
If you didn't catch that, don't worry you're not alone.
Luckily for us he went on to explain how he will attempt to play more of a “point guard role”, essentially trying to get the ball in the hands of his other teammates. “Hopefully they’ll knock (the shot) down. It kind of gets the ball rolling a little bit and pushing the tempo a little bit which is a lot more work.”
Surely more work for the rest of the team and maybe a throttle down for the Mamba. No way to hide his ailments at this point.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team is suffering from the pain of this slump they're on. Losing in Madison Square Garden never feels good but when you do it to the tune of 41 points in the first quarter, it feels bad. Giving up 40-plus points in a quarter for the third time in 7 games- that's just rubbing it in. “We’ll keep trying to buckle down but we are having a re-occurring theme,” Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni said Thursday night, “We need to solve that problem to get out of our slump.”
D'Antoni admits there is a lot of frustration with things on the court but in a good way. “They’ve responded every time. They understand we are in this transitional period,” he explained. “So far their eyes are bright and they’re engaged.”
@LakersReporter Mike Trudell talked with Steve Nash after the game. Nash told Trudell he is planning to return to practice next week. Keep in mind however that Nash has said in previous interviews he will still be out for a period of time while he gets up to speed in practice.
Dwight Howard probably anticipates the return of Steve Nash more than anyone on the team. One thing you can count on is Howard's numbers going up when Nash returns. “He'll help move the ball on the offensive end, but we really have to do a better job on defense,” Howard noted.
How's that for a reality check?
Well thankfully for the new and improved Zenobe, Lakers Nation may have something to look forward to if Nash and Paul Gasol, who is battling tendinitis, come back.
“We have some figuring out to do and we have some key pieces that are out,” Zenobe said,”When they come back, we'll get this thing locked and loaded.
I'm pretty sure the Lakers will be able to beat the Washington Wizards tonight in the nation’s capital. If not, no amount of Zen will stop even the most loyal of fans from hitting the panic button.
You can follow JD Carrere on Twitter at @SportsNetJunkie.