Pau Gasol could see more facilitating, less scoring when he returns
December 17th, 2012, 5:56 pm · · posted by JANIS CARR, OCREGISTER.COM
Pau Gasol could return to the court as soon as Tuesday when the Lakers face the Charlotte Bobcats. But what will his role be when he does take the floor?
Before sitting out the past eight games because of tendinitis, Gasol was struggling to keep pace on his achy knees in Mike D’Antoni’s uptempo offense. His minutes, points and rebounds dwindled as he found himself on the bench late in games and there was talk of him coming off the bench.
D’Antoni has been steadfast in his desire to see Steve Nash and Gasol together on the floor before making any changes. The Lakers coach didn’t waver from his position last week when he said that moving Gasol would be a “last resort kind of desperate (move)” or Monday when he called him one of the “most skilled players in the league.”
“We play a certain type of basketball,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll try to get to guys strengths and figure those out, but basically he’s going to be good in what we do, I know that.”
But that doesn’t translate into more touches in the post.
“Everybody wants everybody in the post. We can’t put 15 guys there in the post. We can’t do it. It doesn’t work. Because if you’re posting him, that means you’re not posting Dwight Howard. Then you get criticized for not posting Dwight.
“We play Laker basketball. That ball is shared, that ball moves, we’ll score in the first 16 seconds, then after that we’ll post people up, we’ll get people in their right spots to finish off a shot. It’s a little crazy about some of the stuff that’s being said. But other than that, we’re good. We’re moving forward, he (Gasol) is good at what he’s good at, and we’ll exploit it.”
Gasol didn’t seem to mind if he has to be the team’s facilitator when he returns.
“As long as we win, as long as it works, I’m OK with everything,” he said. “When it doesn’t translate to wins, or the team is struggling, then I’m not that OK with it. But we’ll see. We’re still learning things here and there.”