Despite coming off a season in which the team failed to live up to expectations and ultimately lost the future face of the franchise in Dwight Howard, the team decided to retain D’Antoni moving forward.
Even though D’Antoni had signed a four-year deal with the team, it’s safe to say the veteran head coach was on the hot seat while being criticized on a nightly basis for not being able to figure it out with four potential Hall of Famers on the roster.
On Tuesday, D’Antoni made an appearance on ESPN 710 with Mark Willard and Mychal Thompson to talk about the current state of the team and what he plans to do with the squad heading into next season. Although D’Antoni was never able to use Pau Gasol properly in his system last season, the head coach believes Gasol is in for a career year next season according to Serena Winters via Twitter:
D’Antoni says he expects Pau Gasol to have his best year this upcoming season (on @ESPNLA710)
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 30, 2013
Without Dwight Howard in the paint, Gasol will be able to resume his role as the starting center for the Lakers. The offense could potentially run a lot smoother without the seemingly one-dimensional Dwight causing all sorts of chemistry problems on the offensive end of the floor.
Although it remains to be seen whether or not Gasol will truly be back to form as one of the best players in the league, a case can be made for the Spaniard having a big year as the second option in the offense behind Kobe Bryant. Gasol might even benefit from Kobe being on the shelf for the start of the upcoming season with Steve Nash and the veteran power forward running the show.
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