D’Antoni Noncommital On Starters, Gasol Prefers Playing Center Reviewed by Momizat on . http://youtu.be/OmMI6_Sc0Io While Pau Gasol struggled with injuries and his role, he showed promise at the center position in Mike D'Antoni's offense last seaso http://youtu.be/OmMI6_Sc0Io While Pau Gasol struggled with injuries and his role, he showed promise at the center position in Mike D'Antoni's offense last seaso Rating:
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D’Antoni Noncommital On Starters, Gasol Prefers Playing Center

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While Pau Gasol struggled with injuries and his role, he showed promise at the center position in Mike D’Antoni’s offense last season. With the departure of an All-Star center, the four-time All-Star and two-time champion now has the opportunity to play his natural position.

At media day on Saturday, Gasol was asked by ESPN 710 Los Angeles about his preferred position and to no one’s surprise, he feels his best position is at the center position:

“I’d like to combine both (center and power forward positions). For the last five years or so, I’ve been more effective at the five. That’s what worked really well for me.”

While D’Antoni praised Gasol as the “best center in the NBA” yesterday, he was noncommittal about the starting line-up and will determine if Gasol starts at center during the course of preseason:

“That will be determined in preseason. Those are two good combinations (Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill). There are other combinations we can do too. There are other players out there that can play, so we’ll have to see how it fits. I guarantee I will try all that. Players will determine where they are.”

With D’Antoni expected to increase the pace of his perimeter-oriented offense, Gasol will likely start at center with Jordan Hill at power forward. There are different combinations D’Antoni has at his disposal this upcoming season and should be able to adjust accordingly to matchups.

While Gasol battled various injuries last season, he was fully cleared for basketball activities today and will look to return to All-Star form. This past season, Gasol averaged 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds as he visibly struggled with knee tendonitis.


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About The Author

Dan Duangdao is the Editor-in-Chief of Lakers Nation. Follow him on Twitter: @DanDuangdao

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  • The Rock

    I have no idea what lineup coach will toss out there.MDA is a lot like Don Nelson and Paul Westhead just unpredictable with his lineups.He mixes and matches his lineup depending on matchups.

    Hell he might go with Wesley Johnson at power forward and Pau Gasol at center anything is possible with Mike D’Antoni coaching he is a tricky coach to counter.MDA loves small ball European style basketball is his trademark.He loves run and gun he will shove 7 seconds or less down his opponents throat.

    MDA has many coaches copying his coaching style it’s a copy cat league and MDA has invented the new trend in coaching which is small ball and big men shooting outside jumper,playing at a frantic pace for 48 minutes the team that scores most always wins.Miami and others have used his coaching style and been very successful.

    The NBA is now played the way Coach Mike D’Antoni envisioned it.Only a few smash mouth teams currently exist off the top of my head Memphis,Indiana,Chicago are just the ones that have been successful lately.They play hard defense and they slow the pace down to pound you into submission.But MDA has the right concept IMO.Any starting lineup is possible with the Lakers MDA is a shrewd guy full of surprises.

  • Daryl Peek

    Competition is what I read of this. All good! We need to get everyone fired up and out of the entitlement mindset. GO LAKERS

  • hookedonnews

    This is the purpose of training camp and preseason–learning who fits best where. With this many new players it’s going to take awhile to figure it all out, and for the players to learn their roles in D’Antoni’s system. Should be interesting.

  • richard

    The good thing is that every other player on this roster wants to play for the purple and gold. That’s a big thing going into battle. YOu don’t want to go to battle knowing one or two of your teammates are not into it. It’s just debilitating… and people can easily get discouraged.

  • Eddie Lazaro

    I can’t wait to see what a good training camp does that will bring this team together. Everyone is fired up & excited about it, players vying for minutes and playing time. A competition within is a great motivation since MDA is not putting a list yet of who his starters will be. That will bring a great chemistry, fitting players strength, cohesion & synchronicity. Lakers All the Way!

  • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

    Given that, I still say, PAu Gasol is our best center… only Kaman comes close… Pau and Hill will balance the team’s offense and defense. I have nothing against MDA…but this is where PJ separates himself… PJ will outright say, who his starting 5 is. They are 2 different school of thought. Let’s see how all these play out.

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