Mike D’Antoni has no clue how to best utilize two All-Star caliber big men on the same floor at the same time so he did what all lazy coaches do – bench one of them.
To date Pau Gasol’s transition to sixth man has been rocky at best. However Pau’s transition back into the starting five was more seamless than most every dress you’d see on the red carpet at the Grammys. The Spaniard did last night what we’ve seen him do countless times in Purple and Gold. 22 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks and he only needed 15 shots.
Efficiency has long been Gasol’s greatest asset. Too bad D’Antoni isn’t much for that kind of production. Perhaps looking to please his head coach Gasol even sank a three last night. Of course nothing he does will earn Gasol a starting gig again.
As soon as Dwight Howard is good to go again it will be back to the bench for the man good enough to help hang two more banners in Staples but not good enough to be one of the first five Lakers on the court anymore. What’s wrong with that picture?
Clearly Gasol is capable of being just as productive as ever. Whether or not that can happen with Howard in the game remains one of the many reasons why this season is lost.
Without reading too much into one game against an NBA bottom feeder, there is no doubt the Lakers need more performances from Gasol like the one we saw last night. This team is better when Gasol is involved early and often. But that can’t happen when he’s coming off the bench.
If the argument is that this team is better with Pau coming off the bench then that would be one thing. Fact of the matter is that’s not true. The reality is D’Antoni just has no clue how to use both of his bigs. That’s a big problem one that will likely sabotage any chance there ever was of making the playoffs.