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.”