Mike D’Antoni Explains Decision To Play Howard, Bench Gasol Last Season
Last season did not go as planned and was filled with unmet expectations. As the Lakers organization, team and fans are poised and ready to move on to next season with different expectations, certain decisions and moves are now being surfaced from last season, especially concerning Dwight Howard.
Last season, Dwight Howard was met with high expectations from the Lakers and the fans, even with the acknowledgment that his back wasn’t 100 percent. After all, that comes with the territory of being a Laker, which is also why the Lakers are the Lakers.
Therefore, Howard consumed a lot of the spotlight as many thought he had the potential to be the future of the franchise. This also played a major factor is Mike D’Antoni’s decision to play Howard over Pau Gasol, even benching Gasol frequently in key moments of games. D’Antoni explained that decision to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLA, saying:
“There was just a lot of factors last year that won’t come up this year,” D’Antoni said. “I even told (Gasol), you make decisions based a lot of times on the future that probably, if you were just doing the competitive, basketball thing, the decision would have been something else.”
Gasol echoed that sentiment by saying:
“Obviously the franchise wanted Dwight to stay and everyone, or a lot of people, tried to make him comfortable and please him at times.”
Read More Here: http://www.lakersnat...son/2013/08/06/
Suddenly it's all becoming clear...
Dwight always played 4 out 1 in offense or an offense that allowed him to have a wide open lane to go to work in, obviously having Pau in the paint with him threw a wrench in that, so it makes sense why suddenly Pau was moved to the perimeter or was benched.
Since both Pau AND D'antoni are echoing this, on top of Steve Nash thinking the offense will "flow smoother" without Dwight makes me wonder how much of a part he played in Pau being played out of position.
If Pau says that the reason he was benched was to please Dwight and make him "comfortable" then that answers a lot of questions, apparently that was meant to please Dwight.
Apparently the Lakers STOPPED that, during the second half of the season when Pau returned and was geting triple doubles and Dwight had no choice but to play with him in the post, and they both brought out the best in each other, but what that was was evidence going forward that they weren't gonna change their offense anymore for Dwight cause obviously they'd found something that worked better than what Dwight wanted.
So with that in mind I'm guessing Dwight didn't want to do that, especially because Houston pretty much said they'd change their entire offense for him while the Lakers said that they found something that worked with Dwight and Pau to close the season and that they could be productive both in the post. Obviously Dwight disagreed. So he went to the team that was gonna continue to cater to his needs as opposed to one that would make him play an effective style but one that he didn't want. I'm guessing he pretty much either wanted Pau gone or off the bench. No wonder he was so happy when Pau started hitting 3s and playing at stretch 4 and so "upset" when Pau was in the paint with him.
All starting to make sense.
Glad he's gone.
Edited by Majesty, August 06, 2013 - 12:02 PM.