Magic Johnson says Lakers should play inside game

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 11, 2012

CHICAGO - JULY 31: Fomer NBA Star Magic Johnson backstage the National Urban League Conference at McCormick Place on July 31, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for National Urban League)
Magic Johnson is questioning new coach Mike D'Antoni's system with the slumping Los Angeles Lakers, saying ''it doesn't fit the talent the Lakers have.'' The Lakers (9-12) are 4-7 in their last 11 games since D'Antoni took over from the fired Mike Brown. They opened a four-game trip on Tuesday night in Cleveland. Earlier in the day at a Dodger Stadium appearance, Johnson criticized D'Antoni's plan to make the Lakers a running team. He says Kobe Bryant is the only player who can run, so the team should focus on its inside game, led by Pau Gasol. Gasol was expected to miss his fifth straight game Tuesday night with tendinitis in his knees, while guard Steve Nash has missed 19 games with a broken left leg he sustained on Oct. 31. According to Johnson, D'Antoni's first question in taking over the team should have been to ask Gasol where he wanted the ball and then give it to him.
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