In the Lakers win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night, head Coach Mike D’Antoni had a strict 10-man rotation. After starting with a Nash-Blake-Young-Williams-Gasol unit, the only guys who came off the bench were Farmar-Henry-Meeks-Johnson-Hill. Of course, Chris Kaman would have been a part of that rotation had he been healthy enough to play, but D’Antoni says that he’s likely to stay with a 10-man rotation.
“10 we can do, 11 makes it a little tougher. We’ll see and we’ll try to keep everybody. The season’s long and guys will have opportunities. People get hurt and people get tired and we shouldn’t have that problem. For some guys we’ll have to say ‘we’re getting to you,’ but it’s a fine line of playing guys too many minutes or not enough.”
Last season, rotations were a problem for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant was consistently logging 40 minutes a night while D’Antoni struggled with what he was going to do with Pau Gasol all season. With Dwight Howard gone, it seems as if D’Antoni has figured out what he’s going to do with his front court rotations, but has a bit of work to do to figure out what to do with his back court.
The Lakers are a bit deeper on the wings and at the point guard position with the additions of Farmar, Henry, Young and Johnson, all of whom should take some stress and minutes away from Bryant, who was carrying the load for the wings last season.
D’Antoni still hasn’t announced his starters for Opening Night, but the team should have a set 10-man unit who will play in all meaningful minutes against the Clippers on Tuesday.