SAN ANTONIO -- It turns out the Lakers' playoff adjustments go beyond Xs and Os.
Kobe Bryant will also alter his approach, and it will have nothing to do with shot selection, facilitating or playing better defense. With the Lakers' star nursing a season-ending torn left Achilles tendon, Bryant said he won't tweet when the Lakers play Game 2 of their first-round series Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center.
"To tweet or not to tweet. I CHOOSE not 2," Bryant wrote Monday on his Twitter account. "Focus should be on the team not my insight."
His tweets garnered inevitable attention during and after the Lakers' 91-79 Game 1 loss to San Antonio. Beyond his stature, Bryant also provided honest, albeit biting, commentary regarding the Lakers' poor play. One of the persisting themes: Bryant wished the Lakers found a better way to get the ball to Pau Gasol in the post.
"What I would say if I was there right now?" Bryant wrote in one Tweet. "Pau get ur (butt) on the block and don't move till u get it."
When informed about Bryant's tweets, D'Antoni said "it's great to have that commentary" before rolling his eyes. D'Antoni then called Bryant a "fan."
Bryant then tweeted, "a fan? Lol" and added the hashtag #microphonetalk.
In subsequent tweets, Bryant maintained he hardly took offense to D'Antoni's comment. But he didn't seem thrilled on how this morphed into a story.
"don't want my dudes
having distractions," Bryant tweeted to one fan. "Plus some writers luv creating controversy so why give them the amo."
The Lakers have plenty of changes to make, including how to handle San Antonio's double-teams in the post, improving their Game 1 shooting accuracy (41.1 percent) and ensuring better health for Steve Nash (right hamstring).
But the Lakers still sounded in high spirits, mainly because of their recently strong defense. They held the Spurs to a 37.6 percent clip, marking the third consecutive game the Lakers held opponents to under 40 percent shooting.
"If we're as active as we were defensively, I'm confident we can beat this team," Gasol said. "We'll take that every game of the series."
The Lakers usually lacked such discipline. They finished the regular season ranked 21st in total defense (101 points per agme).
"Communication has been great," Lakers center Dwight Howard said. "Guys know where they need to be on the rotations and we're just playing hard. We have to keep it up."
Though Lakers guard Jodie Meeks missed Monday's practice because of a sprained left ankle, D'Antoni believes that won't keep him off the court.
Meeks plans to practice today and then play Wednesday in Game 2. Meeks said he used the time Monday retaping his ankle and receiving treatment to ensure the ankle heals.
"I'm still swollen, but I'll be all right," Meeks said. "I want to be off my feet as much as possible."