Kamenetzky Brothers's post on LA Lakers | Latest updates on Sulia
Mike D'Antoni pointed to Pau Gasol as a model of the attitude players need to have going forward, accepting roles
and the system.
"It's the first step that everybody accepts what needs to be done, that we think. And again, nothing's ever written in stone. It's always a fluid situation. You try to analyze it the best you can and try to put the (best) team (out) and the right people on the floor. He's one of the best centers in the league. We're trying to get him more at center, as much as we can. I think that helps him more when (we do) go with two bigs and we can have that. But we want to start off faster and spread the floor a little bit better, and he allows us to do that. He was great. He's been great."
Gasol finished with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting, plus seven boards and three assists in 25:21 of playing time. Assuming no foul trouble/untimely ejections/etc., this may represent somewhere close to the top end of his playing time if D'Antoni wants to stagger Gasol and Dwight Howard as much as possible.
The Jazz, with some combination of Millsap, Favors, Jefferson, and Kanter on the floor at all times, make it easy to leave both of L.A.'s bigs on the floor at the same time, without losing much defensive integrity. Particularly since the Jazz put very little pressure on a team from the backcourt.
Sunday is a different story. The Thunder, starting with Russell Westbrook, obviously do. Add in the perimeter threats of Kevin Durant and Kevin Martin, and -- to use the parlance of Airplane! -- it's an entirely different kind of flying. Altogether.
(Kudos to anyone reading this who responded, "It's an entirely different kind of flying.)
If the Lakers can hold up defensively against the Thunder, then maybe, maybe, maybe it's ok to start getting optimistic about them going forward. Because the schedule does open up a little after Sunday's game, even with the Grammy trip approaching.