Thursday, July 31, 2014
Tags Posts tagged with "d’antoni"

d’antoni

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Image: Getty Images

Hey Laker Nation!

This here is the first player of the week article of the season, a new weekly series I’ve started.  Every Monday I’ll post an article stating who has earned player of the week honors from the previous week. So, without further ado, let’s introduce the first player of the week:

Jordan Hill

Photo Credit | Getty Images

Jordan Hill played some great basketball this past week and has more than earned player of the week honors, however, Steve Blake came in a close second.

Hill averaged 18.8 PPG, 12 RPG, and added a nice 2.5 BPG, in 30 minutes per game this past week. Hill led the Lakers to a 2-2 record this week which could have easily been 3-1 except for a collapse against Memphis.  Hill’s play as of late has given the Lakers a great boost in their play and has definitely ignited a lackluster Lakers squad.

Hill was recently given an increase in minutes by Coach D’Antoni and it has definitely paid off as of late as Hill is infusing a great amount of energy into the lineup.

Hill had always been a monster on the boards with his tremendous hustle and ability to grab offensive rebounds to give the Lakers extra possessions.  The hustle and energy he provides are the intangibles the Lakers need while Kobe Bryant rehabs from his torn Achilles’ tendon.

Expect Hill to continue this recent trend of strong play as long as D’Antoni gives him the minutes, and don’t be surprised if Hill earns player of the week honors next week as well.

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Courtesy Complex Sports

He’s only three games into his job and Mike D’Antoni is already making drastic coaching choices.

In last night’s loss to the Grizzlies, D’Antoni chose to bench Pau Gasol during the closing minutes of a tight game against the Grizzlies. Gasol’s replacement was last night’s star sub Antawn Jamison. The Lakers would ultimately lose to Memphis by a score of 106-98.

Asked about his decision to bench one of his all-stars, D’Antoni gave and earnest yet blunt response:

“I was thinking ‘Boy, I’d like to win this game.’ That’s the reason.”

Gasol’s game has been sub par to his standards as of late. In last night loss, Pau tallied up six points, one assist and four rebounds.

Gasol reponded to the coaching choice:

“It’s a coaching decision, and I respect it. Antawn was playing well, and then [D'Antoni] wanted to go with a smaller lineup and catch up.”

He went on to talk about his recent struggles and offered his input on what it will take to help his game.

“All my looks are jump shots,” he said. “I would like to see something closer to the basket and not just rolling, especially when Dwight is there. But we’ll see. We’ll figure it out. We’re just starting, pretty much.”

 

 

 

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