This adjustment to the Mike D’Antoni way has plenty of collateral damage. It seems like each week since No D Antoni has taken the helm of the Lakers ship that there’s been another player complaining of their role or lack thereof.
Most recently many of the questions have centered on how Dwight Howard ultimately fits the offense. Before then it was Pau Gasol and the lack of burn he was getting in crunch time.
Ironically the latest Laker to voice his displeasure with his reduced role is the man that was originally stealing minutes away from Pau. Antawn Jamison was starting for D’Antoni during Gasol’s absence and was logging big minutes even while Gasol was healthy. Twice this season Jamison has scored 30+ points during his debut season for the Lake Show. However it’s the last five games that have changed everything for Jamison and his outlook on the season.
Not since the middle of December has Jamison seen a single minute on the court. He’s logged 5 consecutive DNP-CDs after not having a single one in his entire career.
How Jamison could go from valued contributor to completely out of the rotation has him frustrated in ways he’s never been.
"“I don’t think you go from starting and 30-something minutes to not in the rotation whatsoever. And not explaining to me what exactly happened, that’s the toughest thing. There’s nothing you can do but be positive and support your teammates. The only reason I came here was they said I was going to play and to win a championship.”"
For the record Coach D’Antoni said there is no specific reason for Jamison’s “demotion”. And Jamison would later backtrack and apologize for the public manner in which he voiced his displeasure.
Still, this is a common theme during the on-going transition to the D’Antoni system. The problem is time is already running out. D’Antoni was dealt a bad had what with injuries and the other obstacles that have prevented him from fully implementing his system. However his rotation really does need to tighten up soon. One of the many reasons why Mike Brown was unable to sustain success in Los Angeles was his constant shuffling of the team’s rotations. The one thing every player wants of their coach is consistency. When that is lacking other problems begin to appear. Let’s hops this is just another bump in the road and not an ominous sign of what’s to come next.