After the Lakers’ most recent loss, a 118-98 drubbing by the league best Indiana Pacers, Pau Gasol made sure his voice was heard post-game.
“There’s just too many individual actions right now. It’s really not a good flow and rhythm out there.”
“We got to be unselfish. If we see a teammate open, we have to make sure that guy gets the ball. Otherwise, it’s really deflating”
“When you get outrebounded by 20, I don’t care who you are and what you do, it’s not going to work and you’re not going to win.”
“I don’t think there’s a lot of discipline right now”
Gasol clearly isn’t pleased with how things are going, I don’t think anyone is for that matter. D’Antoni decided to play small ball against the Pacers and ended up having the much smaller Wes Johnson guard the much larger David West.
Gasol seemed irritated, especially with D'Antoni's small-ball lineup (Wes Johnson vs. David West). Indiana outrebounded Lakers, 62-42
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) February 26, 2014
“We do have guys with size who can do well.”
Tonight, Gasol played 27 minutes, Kaman played 14, Hill played 10, and Sacre played 6. Clearly D’Antoni is favoring his smaller guys and is straying away from the bigs on the team, which is a detriment when the Lakers are playing bigger teams like the Pacers.
Gasol’s frustration hasn’t only been seen today, it reared its head back in December as well.
After Gasol openly complained about not being utilized in the post enough, D’Antoni had this to say:
“It’s also a nice excuse not to play hard, that’s a classic, ‘I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.’ Well you don’t have trouble getting up to the pay stub line. You know what you need to do to get your check. You know what to do. They will. They’ll figure it out.”
Gasol has not been happy with the way D’Antoni utilizes his bigs on his team, he would much rather play small ball with a run-n-gun style offense. It’s unfortunate to see Gasol so upset with his usage and the overall usage of the team as he has definitely earned more respect than he is receiving from D’Antoni.
Needless to say the Lakers are going to have to choose between the two this coming off-season as Gasol most certainly doesn’t want to return to a team where he isn’t used properly. For that matter, no big man would want to come to Los Angeles if D’Antoni is still coaching, as they would receive limited minutes and not be put in a system where they could realize their full potential.
This off-season will be telling, Laker Nation, telling indeed.