SH Blog: Gasol says D’Antoni’s system is a problem, Howard says now is Lakers’ darkest moment

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Even when the Los Angeles Lakers win games, the drama just doesn’t seem to stop.

After defeating  the lowly Bobcats at Staples Center in dramatic fashion – or lucky fashion – on Tuesday, the team was less than pleased with how they earned the victory.

More importantly, some of the players on the team were quite surprised by their sudden change in roles. Pau Gasol, for example, sat during crunch time – something he doesn’t appear to be willing to accept. Antawn Jamison never got off the bench, and Metta World Peace became a bench player.

See how each player responded to the changes made by Mike D’Antoni, why Dwight Howard referred to the current state of his team as the “darkest moment”, and plenty more from around the league below:

  • Pau Gasol thinks the system, not Dwight Howard, is making things difficult for him, from Sam Amick of USA Today: “I don’t find (playing with Howard) tough,” Gasol said as he stood at the loading dock. “It’s more the system right now that makes it tough at times, because (D’Antoni) wants four guys to be spread and one interior guy and it’s a guard-oriented system, so that makes it tough. ”I think there’s enough looks for both of us. But again, it’s not a system that you post up a lot, so we’ll see. We’ve just got to figure it out, but if you’ve got two great post-up players, you’ve got to utilize it.”… ”You have to alternate (offensively) – it’s your turn, my turn, it’s all good,” Gasol explained. “We have that level of confidence in each other and communication, but still we haven’t been able to figure it out within the system how to work it out. But hopefully it’ll come.”…  ”Uh, well, hopefully that won’t happen too often,” Gasol told reporters about being taken out late. “Hopefully it won’t happen too often, because I think when the game is on the line I need to be on the court. That’s what I get paid to do.”
  • In the same article, Mike D’Antoni said he believes Gasol can fit in his system, but will have to compromise his game more than Howard: “It’s Pau who has to expand his game, and he’ll expand out in the corner threes and he needs to take a couple, and we’ll get him in the post when we can,” D’Antoni said, emphasizing those last three words as if to pound the point that he’s making no promises to Pau. “But if we can’t, we’ll just get him relaxed and then everything will be good…Just try to figure out how we’re going to win, how we’re going to co-exist.”… ”I think so,” Mike D’Antoni said when asked if he was confident Gasol could succeed in his system. “There’s no reason not to (believe that). We do have to find the right balance between him and Dwight in the post and all that stuff that goes with it. But I would be shocked if he can’t (succeed) – just because he’d be good in any system.”

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Comments

  1. Daniel, thanks for the condolence. I knew once the Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson, LakersNation was going to be run to the ground. He is the worst coach possible to be in this situation for the Lakers right now. He is clueless to figure out a rotation with the roster he has, he cannot answer a straight question and he relies on Kobe Bryant too much.

    I am going to say D’Antoni is BS every day, all day as long as he is the Lakers’ coach, and even when (or if ever) he starts winnings more with the Lakers. I hate this guy. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it! Why did Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss pick him!!!

    I wish D’Antoni wouldn’t let Kobe jack up every other shot and play him for 40-plus minutes every game. The Lakers have other options and Dwight Howard!!! Let those other options be a part of the offense so the team can start winning! All these idiotic decisions by D’Antoni is going to run Howard away from resigning with the team in the summer.

    I hate you D’Antoni!

    Sincerely,

    An annoyed Lakers fan

  2. As a Knicks fan, I want to share my condolences with the Lakers. It’s unfortunate that the best team on paper in the NBA has become another victim of the most stubborn SOB coach in the entire league. And it’s no surprise to me, because we heard it time and time again here in New York:

    Q: “Coach, can Carmelo Anthony play efficiently in your system?”
    A: “I don’t see why not. He’s too good not to succeed in any system.”

    This is D’Antoni’s stock answer for any player whose talents are minimized to drastic result by “his system.” Why the f*ck would any coach be so stubborn as to ask a pure 7-footer like Pau Gasol, one of the three best post players in the league – who, mind you, helped the Lakers win two championships already – play beyond his range and shoot 3-balls all night?

    The answer is because D’Antoni is more interested in running up the scoreboard every night, and solidifying HIS legacy as some kind of innovator, than he is in actually winning a championship. Results be damned. He such an arrogant, belligerent a-hole, I can’t believe the Lakers hired this fool in haste. But, truthfully, it seems like everything the Lakers do nowadays is in haste.

    Strike two for Lil’ Jimmy Buss.

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