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D’Antoni again benched Gasol in final minutes. Again Gasol didn’t like it.

Dec 19, 2012, 10:20 AM EDT

Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol AP

The pattern at the end of the Lakers win over the Bobcats was unmistakable — Pau Gasol would sub for Dwight Howard, then a few minutes later Howard would sub for Gasol.

There’s a reason for that — lineups with both Gasol and Howard were -22. Against the Bobcats. Mike D’Antoni isn’t stupid, he saw what wasn’t working and went away from it.

But that meant someone sat late — Pau Gasol was in the game for the key hack-a-Dwight time before the final two minutes, but as has happened before this season Howard was on the floor and Gasol was on the bench in the key final minutes. This time the Lakers held on for the win.

After the game D’Antoni tried to play this off as happened because Gasol is getting back into shape following missing eight games with knee tendonitis. Sure. But Gasol was not too happy about it, as Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reported after the game on Sulia.

“When the game is on the line, I need to be on the court. That’s what I get paid to do.”

Gasol also said: “Hopefully, that won’t happen too often.”

It should happen every time the Howard and Gasol are -22 when matched up against Byron Mullens and Bismack Biyombo.

So far, in a very small sample size, the Lakers have struggled in Mike D’Antoni’s system when those two are on the floor together. And the Lakers have to figure it out because they can’t sit one of their best players in the final minutes of games if they are going to get near their potential.

D’Antoni said they would after the game and said they would tinker to make it work with those two on the court together. I hope there are more detailed plans in there somewhere. Because it not, this could become a bigger issue going forward.

  1. rj2323 - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    As a laker fan I’m very concerned I mean they were down more than 10 to the bobcats an barley beat em by 1. Idk ill just say this if Phil Jackson was on the bench they would not be 12-14

    • fanofthegame79 - Dec 19, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      So remind me again how the Lakers turned out the last 2 seasons under Phil Jackson with virtually this same roster? They lost (lost ugly) and Phil was ran out of LA. I think it’s the players on the court rather than the coach on the side. The Lakers are an older team, with a huge lack of depth which is hurting them. And putting all of the hopes on Nash is unrealistic as well – the dude is 39 years old with bad joints and was getting burned by most other point guards in the league. Face it, this team won’t reach the potential that was bestowed upon them when this team was established.

  2. drobstad - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    As a Knicks fan, I hate to break the news to you Lakers fans but… Mike D’Antoni is an atrocious coach and will set the Lakers back years until he is fired. He has shown 0 ability to adapt to the players he has and is incapable of working with his star players if they don’t fit his system. What a god awful hire he was.

    • danfrommv - Dec 19, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      I’m starting to see that this is true. D’Antoni has shown no evidence that he will adapt his offensive system to the players. The Lakers are not a great 3 point shooting team and seem to win only when shooting 45+% on 3s. They struggle when the long range shots aren’t falling.

      After watching the triangle, you can see how the offensive system affects the defense. In the triangle, the floor spacing dictates that someone is always back defensively, and an inside game means fewer long rebounds.

      In D’Antoni’s system, so many long 3 pointers with no coordination on having players in position to fall back. So many teams can run out on the Lakers, and they do. That is how Orlando and Cleveland beat them, and that is how the Bobcats almost beat them.

      • protectthishouse54 - Dec 19, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        He also fails to hold his players accountable on the defensive end. Probably because he doesn’t like thinking or talking about that half of the game. It’s not right that Dwight Howard is the only one getting on his teammates about defensive rotations.

  3. cantonbound13 - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Lots of pressure on Nash when he gets back. If the Lakers don’t improve drastically with Nash things could get ugly. I’m not sure Nash could make that much of a difference at his age & weak defensive ability. He’s a great player but there are too many problems there.

    • leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Dec 19, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      And on top of that, will Kobe even allow him to play point and run the offense? He certainly didn’t in the brief time that Nash was healthy.

  4. abchome - Dec 19, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    The Lakers have to find a way to play Howard and Gasol together effectively to compete against better teams.

  5. cantonbound13 - Dec 19, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Maybe Gasol forgot his big boy pants?

  6. chargerdillon - Dec 19, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    They only won this game BY LUCK, BY A LOT OF LUCK. This team has ZERO killer instinct.

    They go on a big run so they can insert their bench and lose all the lead they had. Then the stars come in and look mediocre at best just to scrap by and MAYBE get a win.

    The Lakers beat the Bobcats because the Bobcats missed multiple layups on the last play, not because the Lakers beat them.

    Kobe puts up garbage shot after garbage shot in crunch time while the rest of the team is running plays that arnt going to be used. And if Kobe is lucky enough to hit 50% they stand a chance of winning.

    Every bit of lead the Lakers made in this game in the 4th quarter was given away by multiple bad shot attempts by the leading scorer.

    I’m firmly convinced Kobe is the problem with this team. When the Sherrif in town is the problem, who puts the Sherrif in his place. Pau cant becaue he’s Pau…… Dwight can’t because he’s not credible as a star player who can’t hit a free throw. Artest is in no place to give anybody good advice….EVER, and Steve Nash……well it’s hard to be the boss when you can’t play ball.

    This team starts and ends with Kobe Bryant not playing team ball. Dwight won’t stay, kneejerk moves will cause Pau to get traded, Nash doesnt have much life in his legs as is evidence.

    If the Lakers arnt thinking about a post-kobe era now, it’s going to be like watching MJ on the Wizards

  7. paleihe - Dec 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    It doesn’t make sense that two seven footers on the court together can’t seem to make it work.

    Is it the players fault? Nope. The coach has to be able to put them in a position to be successful. He’s yet to do that.

  8. andiroid71 - Dec 19, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    The Lakers are changing. Which means Kobe needs to change too. Yes, we know he can play. But he ain’t young anymore.

    He will alway be the biggest defensive assignment on that team. He needs to start to trust his team mates even more. Trust is a huge thing to do, but trusting in someone brings out so much in people.

    Look at New York, they play as a team. Even with Melo scoring like he is. Even with the players they have. Yes they have some great veterans, but they also have some guys I was like ‘who’s that’ ? When I watch a Knicks game, I never feel like its the Melo show, and at the end of the game he has numbers. He has changed his game for the team. So too J.R.

    So did Garnett last year. Kidd this year.

    If Kobe is as amazing as he is. He needs to figure this out and stop pointing the finger. Stop sitting out of huddles in time outs like against Charlotte in the final minutes. And start trusting in his team mates.

    I can imagine they all live in fear of him.
    Fear stifles people.
    Trust grows. Trust encourages and inspires.

    If I had someone of Kobe’s calibre trusting in me, encouraging me. I reckon I’d play a lot better too.

    Let’s see if his ego allows that to happen…..

  9. magicbucs - Dec 19, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Hey laker fans, Stan Van Gundy would have them rotating on D. No joke. How do you think the magic were always top 2-3 Defense all those years. It was his pet peeve.. It’s the easiest thing to do also lol too bad for the lakers Dwight doesn’t like Stan…

    Jacque Vaughn in Orlando has 9 new players on the team… 8 of them are 4 rookies and 4 2nd year players. The magic are 7/8th in the league on Defense. No superstars no Allstars…just heart….
    Go magic!

  10. BigBeachBall - Dec 19, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    wonder if memphis wants to do a trade for pao…

  11. jerdogthompson - Dec 19, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Pay didn’t forget his big boy pants,



    • jimeejohnson - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:04 PM


    • bozosforall - Dec 20, 2012 at 12:02 AM

      Jizzdogthompson lusts after poopy pants. He is the scat king of Beantown.

  12. cameltoehoe - Dec 19, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Love, love, love that the Lakers are struggling . Three straight wins and they still complaining! Hope they all catch AIDS!

    • bozosforall - Dec 20, 2012 at 12:05 AM

      Poor camelturd has full blown AIDS and wishes his own misery on others. No one forced you to bend over for all of those strange men, camelturd…no reason for you to now wish the same evil that has befallen you on others.

  13. fruitcovejag - Dec 20, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Look it up: +5 this season with Dwight only on the court. +98 with Pau only on the court. Who’s the problem again? Send him to the line!

  14. sageandjudahsdad - Dec 20, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    Cameltoehoe, you are an a hole. What a stupid
    F’n comment.

  15. omniusprime - Dec 20, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Pau Gasol is correct that he should be on the court in the final minutes of games, unless they’re blowouts and it’s just garbage time for the subs. That the two twin towers aren’t doing well together on the court is the fault of Dumbtoni who isn’t intelligent enough to be coaching this great squad. This isn’t a matter of tinkering for Dumbtoni, he needs to do a major overhaul of his most ignorant game plan. He wants the Lakers to play that idiotic small ball that will only cause them to lose.

    The Laker’s biggest problem is Dumbtoni, he’s just too arrogant and ignorant to be an NBA coach. He’s already causing chaos in the locker room, and it’s starting to leak out publicly. If that little idiot buss boy had been smart and hired Phil Jackson the Lakers would be well on their way to looking like a championship team despite the injuries.

    Go Gasol!!! Fire Dumbtoni!!! We Want Phil!!! Fire the little idiot buss boy!!! We Want Jeanie!!!

  16. paulhargis53 - Dec 20, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    bozo/lakerluver: Hey, Carlos Mencia, why don’t you come up with your own material?! It’d be one thing if you just stole the joke, but somehow you steal it, put your own inane little spin on it and make it totally unfunny. EVERY DAMN TIME. How, can you have a total lack of a sense of humor like that? You are the Chip Chipperson of PBT.

    You are a complete and utter turd, sausage wallet. Unoriginal, unfunny and unusually homoerotic in nature.

    We all know you’re looking for a boyfriend on here, but this isn’t the time or place, there are other sites for that. Good luck in your search, your total lack of basketball knowledge won’t matter on the men seeking men sites like it does here.

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