In even tones but no uncertain terms, greatly raising the stakes without raising their voices, the coach of the Lakers and the star of the Lakers called out big men Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol after the 113-96 loss to the Nuggets on Thursdaythat forced a Game 7 in the first-round series.
Already facing pressure to step up their play as the Lakers’ advantage of size and inside play goes to waste, Gasol and Bynum were moved even more into the crosshairs by Mike Brown and Kobe Bryant, both clearly frustrated by Gasol managing three points on one-of-10 shooting with three rebounds and by Bynum getting 11 points on four-of-11 shooting. Bynum did have a game-high 16 rebounds, but his series has become a run of nights without focus.
“We’re going to need more out our two bigs,” Brown said as the Lakers faced the reality of going from a 2-0 series lead to a Game 7 in Los Angeles on Saturday night. “They’re our second- and third-best players. We’re going to need a lot more out of those guys in order to win the series. But not just scoring wise. Defensively. Defensively to follow the game-plan discipline and do it with some effort and some energy and really just lay it out on the line.”