first_imgAsked how close the Lakers came to a deal, Kupchak said, “Not very close, which is what we expected going into the last day.” “Things could turn on one phone call or a pinhead, but it was unlikely based on conversations going into the trade deadline that we’d do anything,” Kupchak added. “That was where our expectations were.” In the meantime, the players went frame by frame through their second-half failings in Wednesday’s loss to Portland – a video session turned team meeting – before getting on the practice court to talk about defense and do some shooting. They heeded Jackson’s admonishment that they weren’t “playing for one another,” and reaffirmed their commitment to finding the open man on offense and being accountable for their defensive effort. They will have every opportunity to end the losing streak tonight at Staples Center against the Boston Celtics, who have lost 27 of their past 30 games and own the NBA’s worst record at 13-40. “We’ve just got to battle back out of it and become a better team,” Kobe Bryant said. “I don’t think anybody’s wavered from the fact – at least I haven’t – that we can make some serious noise in the playoffs with the roster that we have. “This is a bump in the road that we’re going to have to get through, and when we get through it, we’ll be a better ball club.” EL SEGUNDO – As the clock struck noon Thursday and the NBA trade deadline came and went without a move, the Lakers were sequestered in the film room at their practice facility, starting the search for answers from within. Only a day after becoming the first Phil Jackson-coached team to lose six consecutive games, the Lakers learned that they will move forward this season with a roster that general manager Mitch Kupchak said “in all likelihood” will stay intact. center_img The Lakers resolved to be a better defensive team than they were in giving up 112 points on nearly 60 percent shooting to Portland, which was the NBA’s third-lowest scoring team coming into the game. No big deal: In spite of all the rumors of a potential deal for All-Star guard Jason Kidd, the Lakers stood pat at the trade deadline for the eighth straight season. “I think everybody was looking forward to possibly Jason coming out here,” Bryant said. “Obviously, that would have been an amazing backcourt. But it didn’t happen so we just move on from here.” The two sides were never close to a deal, and there was little movement in the final days. The Lakers refused to include 19-year-old center Andrew Bynum, who grew up in New Jersey, in a trade and offered a package built around Kwame Brown, expiring contracts and draft picks. “It makes me feel good to be wanted by a lot of people,” Bynum said. “That means I’m doing something right. I wanted to be a Laker when I got drafted. “This is my home. I’m happy that they want me here.” [email protected] (818) 713-3610 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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