- Dave McMenamin, ESPN Staff Writer
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"I don’t think it’s time to get emotional," Bryant said Monday after the Lakers lost 109-103 to the Golden State Warriors, extending their losing streak to three games. "We got to just maintain our poise and just think about, [from an execution standpoint], what are we going to do. We got to look at what teams are doing against us in terms of spreading us out and rolling a big and now we collapse and now we’re late to the shooters.”
“This is about the third game in a row where that’s happened to us,” he said, “so we got to figure out defensively what we’re going to do. Not really get overly emotional, but we just got to look at what’s going on and make adjustments."
When a reporter told Bryant that D'Antoni's postgame remarks after the Warriors loss were more subdued than the coach’s "sham-mockery" comments following the Wizards loss, Bryant looked bemused.
"Stark contrast from the other night, I guess," Bryant said. "He was a little calmer tonight."
The loss dropped the 36-35 Lakers' lead over the Utah Jazz for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference playoff standings to just one game with 11 games left to play.
Is Bryant concerned about the big picture and the Lakers' chances?
"I’m terrified," Bryant deadpanned. "Do I look terrified? Not at all."
Where Bryant did express legitimate concern was in making the proper adjustments to correct what has been happening out on the court, which led to consecutive losses against the Phoenix Suns, the Washington Wizards and the Warriors.
"It’s really not an emotional thing," Bryant said. "It’s just X’s and O’s. If you look at the game, it’s just strategy and adjustments. They put us in positions where we have to pick and choose, and we weren’t able to counter that. It’s really that simple."
Bryant volunteered to steer that learning curve.
"I probably have to take the lead a little bit in that department," Bryant said. "It’s not really like a rah-rah situation when I communicate with the guys. It will always be about what the team did to put us in positions where we had to pick our poison and give up something.
“We just got to look at the film and make some adjustments where we’re putting them on their heels a little bit."
D'Antoni, for his part, was much more even-keeled Monday, pointing out the damage L.A. did in outscoring Golden State 27-15 in the fourth quarter with a smaller lineup and rationalizing that L.A. is still trying to reintegrate Pau Gasol into the lineup after the big man missed 20 straight games.
"We have to figure it out and get back a little bit," D'Antoni said.
That is certainly a message that seems to resonate with Bryant.
"Just look at the film," Bryant said. "Break down the next opponent and go on with a solid game plan."
5dAmin Elhassan and Baxter Holmes