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D'Antoni not intending to start Gasol right away


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#1 Majesty

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 01:42 AM

For those wondering or that have been out of the loop, Pau Gasol played a 4 on 4 game today in practice and is expected to play Friday per D'antoni.

D'antoni: "He played well today. I expect him and Kobe back Friday, but we'll see how tomorrow goes and if he's up to it."


But skeptical per Gasol.

Gasol: "I just want to take my time and not rush back. We'll see how it feels after the 5 on 5.". "It's about confidence pushing off."



Now the news going around has been that D'antoni was going to try to incorporate Gasol back into the starting lineup, but as per D'antoni that's not the case, not yet anyway

D'antoni: "I want to "eventually" work him back into the starting lineup now that everyone especially Dwight is healthy. I'm not going to do it right away, but eventually I'd like to."


But he did make it clear why he intends to start Gasol in the playoffs, what's the reason why?

D'antoni: "Because we'll need him comfortable if we want to do some damage in the playoffs."



And if there is one thing Gasol was not comfortable with, it was coming off the bench. It seems catering to the Power Forward in order to get his best in the playoffs seems to be the direction D'antoni wants to go, rather than forcing him off the bench and worrying about anymore "quotes" from Gasol about it. Such distractions is the last thing this team needs.

However D'antoni did make one thing clear in practice, that this will be Gasol's last chance to make it work with Dwight as a starter, as he has thrown Gasol every bone for when he starts him again.

D'antoni: "A lot of decisions were made when Dwight wasn't healthy, and when Nash wasn't healthy or when guys were banged up, or even when Gasol wasn't healthy. But when you got Dwight healthy and you've got Nash healthy and when Kobe's healthy and Gasol's healthy, he(Gasol) is way too good, Nash is way too good and Dwight is way too good for it not to work.


Apparently D'antoni is attributing a lot of the early season problems with the lineups with Gasol, Nash and Dwight's health and feels with everyone in the lineup healthy that there's no reason the lineup won't work.

But there were obvious and apparent problems with the 4 and 5 of Dwight and Gasol, what is the main thing that must change if it will work between them in D'antoni's opinion.

"Spacing."


Referring to the early problem of the season wherein Gasol would often leave Dwight alone when doubled and creep out to the three point line "after" clogging the lane up prior which allowed the double team to come.

D'antoni acknowledged this and said Gasol was "too good of a player to not 'figure it out.' "


It is obvious that Gasol and Dwight wanted to play the post, yet often when D'antoni would run double posts, Gasol would oft try to take dominant position even when Dwight had the ball, this caused Dwight to get double teamed very easily, and Gasol's response, was simply backing away.

This is one of the reasons D'antoni sat Pau aside from his inefficiency on defense, and why he is also skeptical towards starting him again but is willing to throw him a bone because of 'injuries' to team mates and himself.


However D'antoni did make it clear if Gasol doesn't figure it out he may have to change his mind come playoff time if it takes "too long".

D'antoni: "It's a real double edged sword, and I don't have time to 'experiment' because in the playoffs I don't want to be eliminated before I go 'well that didn't work.'."



Steve Nash also echo'd his sentiments when it came to starting the seven footer at least right away and even seems to be a little done 'experimenting' as well.

Steve Nash: "It's obvious we need him(Gasol) but we don't have time to wait on him and go through a week of bad performances and losses for him to get back into it."


Because of this Nash is behind Gasol coming off the bench as is his coach, at least at the start of the comeback.


Ultimately the ball is in Gasol's court.

He has a coach that says that "spacing" is what needs to change between Gasol and Howard but has also been critical that Gasol is a smart enough player to have figured that out, which is why he pulled him for messing up spacing and "not working together" with Dwight.

But he has given the Spaniard one FINAL benefit of the doubt and it will be Gasol's last, because if Gasol is still struggling to make it work with Dwight entering the playoffs, Neither D'antoni, or Nash for that matter will have a problen with him being back on the bench.

It's up to Gasol to prove he belongs to start again, it always has been.

Is Wayne Brady gonna have to Djokovic? - Robert Flores 


#2 Cato

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 03:24 AM

So how do you think they'll deal with these 'spacing' issues? There has to be a way to make it work - after all, if it wasn't for a few turnovers last year, we might have beaten OKC with Pau and Bynum both sharing the post successfully.



#3 LakersGAFan

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 04:04 AM

all good points. MDT is making the right call here.


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#4 Majesty

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 04:07 AM

So how do you think they'll deal with these 'spacing' issues? There has to be a way to make it work - after all, if it wasn't for a few turnovers last year, we might have beaten OKC with Pau and Bynum both sharing the post successfully.


The Spacing issue resolves itself when Pau doesn't crowd the post when Dwight is there and doesn't stand at the three point line when Dwight is opening the post for him.


Remember early in the season all Dwights turnovers? Spacing had a lot to do with it and Gasol was responsible for Dwight being easily doubled on these kinds of scenarios.


1) Gasol would crowd the lane when Dwight for the ball, this allowed Gasol's defender to go in and double Dwight. Gasol's response to Dwight being doubled was not to move off ball in any way, he would simply back up to the three point line out of any direction Dwight could pass and it'd be a turnover.


2) Dwight would open the lane in double post for Gasol to take his man to the post, but instead Gasol backs out to the three point line instead, Gasol's defender knows he's not a threat from there so he goes in and doubles Dwight. Gasol's response is NOT moving in for a pass for a mid range jumper or to cut to the basket for an easy layup off a Dwight feed..his response was STAYING at the three point line and not doing anything to help Dwight when doubled.


This is the reason D'antoni got fed up with Pau and constantly said he's "too good" and "too smart" of a player to not figure it out. In essence he was saying Gasol was acting like and making the decisions of a stupid or inexperienced player, which he knows he's too good to be.

That coupled with Gasol saying he wanted to start "at center" which means over Dwight, coupled with the fact he said if Dwight AND D'antoni are here next year he may ask for a trade was the last straw.

He felt entitled, and he deservingly got benched. This doesn't absolve Dwight from blame because at times he'd screw up spacing too but it was obvious Gasol was the root of spacing problems even when D'antoni would run sets for him.


So now D'antoni is attributing that to injuries, and not being dialed in, and Nash not being there for much of it.

So now WHEN he starts Gasol again at some point he has NO excuse. If he blows it again D'antoni (and Nash for that matter) are done waiting on him and he'll be benched indefinitely as the backup 5.

Is Wayne Brady gonna have to Djokovic? - Robert Flores 


#5 Windu

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 05:22 AM

Nightmarish

Pau Gasol is GONE


#6 Majesty

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 05:38 AM

Good thing Nash is behind that decision as well.

Is Wayne Brady gonna have to Djokovic? - Robert Flores 


#7 KobeWillReturnTriumphant

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 06:39 AM

Who'd you rather shoot 3s? MWT or gasol?

#8 noknife

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 06:39 AM

I have long maintained that Pau Gasol is the Lakers X factor.  When he is playing well, the Lakers are nearly unbeatable, unfortunately that hasn't been the case the past couple seasons.  When this team was assembled it was assembled with Gasol, Kobe, Howard, and Nash in mind, not some random throw in from the Howard trade.  Regardless, he gives the Lakers a fighting chance against any team, and that is more than you can say for his replacement in Clark who had a few good weeks, has hit a brick wall, and gives the Lakers basically zero chance in the playoffs.  You cannot run a starting lineup out that consists of MWP and Earl Clark and expect to win 4 out of 7 games against any team in the NBA let alone the elite in the western conference, that is 2/5th of a team that a defense can basically ignore the entire game unless they prove to be scorching hot that game. 



#9 Cato

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 09:40 AM

Who'd you rather shoot 3s? MWT or gasol?

 

Honestly, probably Gasol lol



#10 Cato

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 09:44 AM

The Spacing issue resolves itself when Pau doesn't crowd the post when Dwight is there and doesn't stand at the three point line when Dwight is opening the post for him.


Remember early in the season all Dwights turnovers? Spacing had a lot to do with it and Gasol was responsible for Dwight being easily doubled on these kinds of scenarios.


1) Gasol would crowd the lane when Dwight for the ball, this allowed Gasol's defender to go in and double Dwight. Gasol's response to Dwight being doubled was not to move off ball in any way, he would simply back up to the three point line out of any direction Dwight could pass and it'd be a turnover.


2) Dwight would open the lane in double post for Gasol to take his man to the post, but instead Gasol backs out to the three point line instead, Gasol's defender knows he's not a threat from there so he goes in and doubles Dwight. Gasol's response is NOT moving in for a pass for a mid range jumper or to cut to the basket for an easy layup off a Dwight feed..his response was STAYING at the three point line and not doing anything to help Dwight when doubled.


This is the reason D'antoni got fed up with Pau and constantly said he's "too good" and "too smart" of a player to not figure it out. In essence he was saying Gasol was acting like and making the decisions of a stupid or inexperienced player, which he knows he's too good to be.

That coupled with Gasol saying he wanted to start "at center" which means over Dwight, coupled with the fact he said if Dwight AND D'antoni are here next year he may ask for a trade was the last straw.

He felt entitled, and he deservingly got benched. This doesn't absolve Dwight from blame because at times he'd screw up spacing too but it was obvious Gasol was the root of spacing problems even when D'antoni would run sets for him.


So now D'antoni is attributing that to injuries, and not being dialed in, and Nash not being there for much of it.

So now WHEN he starts Gasol again at some point he has NO excuse. If he blows it again D'antoni (and Nash for that matter) are done waiting on him and he'll be benched indefinitely as the backup 5.

 

Could you compare and contrast how Pau did things differently with Bynum? What did the Pau/Bynum combo do to be successful as opposed to what hasn't been working with Dwight? 

 

I still don't understand why Dwight/Pau did so horribly when Pau/Bynum. It's not like Gasol never played PF next to low post C (Bynum)...



#11 Notorious Arab

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 10:18 AM

I don't get why they don't run some of the triangle when they're both in there.

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#12 Majesty

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 10:24 AM

Could you compare and contrast how Pau did things differently with Bynum? What did the Pau/Bynum combo do to be successful as opposed to what hasn't been working with Dwight?

I still don't understand why Dwight/Pau did so horribly when Pau/Bynum. It's not like Gasol never played PF next to low post C (Bynum)...


Gasol played with a better synergy with Bynum and went high low much more often and would actually do well together with him before Bynum's second injury.

But if we look at last season when it started. Gasol and Bynum played well together. There were many moments when Gasol would mess with spacing and would not take post initiative when Bynum would open the lane. But even then Gasol didn't back up to the three point line.

Another good point for Bynum and Gasol working was the fact Bynum could knock down mid range shots so he could back up when Gasol DID get into the post and be ready for that pass. Dwight isn't there yet.

Even so, Gasol seemed to still put up 17 and 10 working with Bynum, but the little inklings of messing up space were there.

Gasol would mess up spacing at times, and would sometimes allow Bynum to be double teamed as well which would cause turnovers but it wasn't as frequent and he went high low with Bynum a lot. Bynum was also very good at sealing a defender which allowed Gasol to find him directly under the basket in line sight and set up a lot of their high low alley oops.

Dwight doesn't seal as much and doesn't have a mid range jumper but at the same time Gasol didn't "sabotage" was Bynum was trying to do as often eventhough it was in bits and pieces, but even near the end of last season you could start to see it.

This year you see all those problems Bynum saw sparingly on every other play with Gasol and it hurts the team more as well as Howard who wasn't healthy at the time.

So watching Gasol and Bynum and how they worked and how easily they'd set up high low and how Gasol could still get 17 and 10 is probably what frustrates D'antoni.. Because Mike Brown was running a. 4 out 1 in offense which had Gasol attacking from mid range primarily and still going 17 and 10.

So initially D'antoni wanted the same, but instead of producing mid range Gasol complained he now wanted to be in the post, so D'antoni tried to run double post, Pau would back to the three, he'd run primary poist up sets for Gasol which he ran away from last year(and still did this year)

The problems were always there, it just wasn't apparent AS MUcH last year because Mike Brown rarely tried to play them both at post, it was mainly Bynum and Gasol at mid.

D'antoni was trying to run them both at post and get them both their touches there, because of this Pau's reluctance became a lot more obvious as was his ability to lead double teams to another player.


Gasol started out mid range last year so if hid man went to double Bynum, he was open for a mid range jumper also Mike Brown rould run some triangle specifically for him rather than double post(which D'antoni tries to do that he refuses to do)

THIS year Gasol starts way too far out or way too far in and then either goes way too far out or doesn't go anywhere and only runs triangle when at the 5 instead of the 4 and that's the problem.

Edited by Majesty, March 21, 2013 - 10:29 AM.

Is Wayne Brady gonna have to Djokovic? - Robert Flores 


#13 MrKnowItAll

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 11:00 AM

Y'all read too much into stuff.

#14 LakeShow805

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 11:05 AM

I don't get why they don't run some of the triangle when they're both in there.

.....because we have MD as a coach



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Posted March 21, 2013 - 11:36 AM

Couldn't agree more. Great!


yo.


#16 bfc1125roy

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 11:58 AM

Gasol needs to put on his big boy pants or be cool with coming off the bench for good. 



#17 Thanatos

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 09:17 PM

I don't think they should be on the floor at the same time, but if they have to be, they should just run Gasol/Dwight pick and roll all day.


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#18 Turbo

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 09:57 PM

I think they should have Gasoline post up and have Dwight roam for offensive rebounds and cut to the basket when his man goes to double on Gasoline. I think that's what Earl does now? Just roam and be opportunistic

#19 bigfetz

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Posted March 21, 2013 - 10:08 PM

Ill accept him off the bench but I hope we keep him doing that. It was working well last time off the bench. Why change a good thing.



#20 MDI

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Posted March 22, 2013 - 12:15 AM

Good decision


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Props to sidthekid871





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