Mike D’Antoni Expects Pau Gasol To Have ‘Best Year He’s Ever Had’ Reviewed by Momizat on . The one person that took most of the blame for the Los Angeles Lakers having a rough season last year was head coach Mike D'Antoni. Despite coming off a season The one person that took most of the blame for the Los Angeles Lakers having a rough season last year was head coach Mike D'Antoni. Despite coming off a season Rating:
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Mike D’Antoni Expects Pau Gasol To Have ‘Best Year He’s Ever Had’

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Gasol, Dwight and D'AntoniThe one person that took most of the blame for the Los Angeles Lakers having a rough season last year was head coach Mike D’Antoni.

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:

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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  • aprince66

    If some of the roll playing reserves step up this season, Lakers could potentially have a fast, fun and energetic second squad.

    A veteran fundamental pound it in the paint starters, followed be a speedy team of reserves could throw opposing teams flow off kilter. I’m digging the changes so far.

    • jerryz

      Fast, fun, energetic, and go fishing in the first round of the play-off

      This is the kind of team Mike D’antoni had every year in Phoenix with success in the regular season and early exit in play-off facing real teams.

      This is possibly a very bad scenario for the Lakers. If this team finds success in the regular season, D’antoni will keep his job, Laker early play-off exit, mediocre draft-pick for 2015, Laker also keep these mediocre players thinking they somehow can have a chance in the play-off next season(this will hinder their 2015 big free-agency signing). Exact Phoenix Suns scenario repeating itself.

      • Daryl Peek

        First round flame out? Nah! The Suns had a foe in the Spurs they could not get past. Same as the Jazz against the Bulls in the 90′s. People love to simplify the big picture too much. Over the last 20 plus years you can count the number of champion head coaches on one hand. Given that D’Antoni is as good as any other HC that hasn’t closed the deal over said time span…

      • richard

        And may I remind you that they didn’t have Kobe and Pau over at PHX… I am not sold on the thoughts that this is a Suns do-over in LA.

      • Eddie Lazaro

        Suns don’t have the same DNA as the Lakers does. Not a Championship mentality PLAYERS, Owner and FO, That’s a lot for you to swallow.

  • Jim213

    Best year ever…another Ring? Guess Dumbtoni will likely be placing Gasol at Center which given the current acquisitions leaves the PF position stagnant.

    • Daryl Peek

      Tried to tell you Gasol would be the center. D’Antoni is also claiming up to an 11 man rotation. I’m digging the competition he’s gonna create position by position.

      • Jim213

        Dumbtoni brought this up a few weeks back. We knew this was likely but now an experienced and solid PF really needs to be acquired. More reason to bring in Lamar though you consider this a sentimental move DARYL.

        MJ Quote: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

        • Daryl Peek

          LO is not championship talent anymore IMO.

          • Jim213

            Daryl, given that Gasol will be at C the PF position will be the teams weakness. Which young inexperienced player would you place or make a starter to help the team day in and out? WHO!………

          • Daryl Peek

            First thing I look at is clearing the air on championship expectations. No matter what we do in 2013 that’s not realistic. Now that that’s clear here’s what I see… D’Antoni is our HC. He likes stretch 4′s therefore the twin tower strength argument is moot! As stated in this article it will be done by committee. In my perfect world Hill, Kelly, Harris and either Daye or Shawne Williams will compete for the roles.

            Judging from D’Antoni’s commentary lately Gasol will still possibly have a role as PF from time to time. I don’t try to come up with force fed absolutes based off my preference because that’s fantasy. I do my best to roll with what the FO and HC are doing in speculation. Again we are in building mode so anything above a second round showing in the playoffs is best case scenario gravy!

          • Jim213

            So you want us to tank… ain’t happening Daryl! C’mon, Dumbtoni at best will be a 2 to 3 yr coach given that it’s highly unlikely that management will meet all the Lakers TO DO LIST come 2014 as Kupcake has somewhat stated.

            Although, it’s weird for him to say that the team isn’t planning on throwing in the towel. Just like politicians he rephrases and manipulates his words while his actions (acquisitions) fail to address the chemistry and solidarity that’s required to remain COMPETITIVE. That’s what it’s about staying competitive!!

          • Daryl Peek

            Where did you read tank in that? The reality of our current plight could lead to that given the injuries and CBA against us. The FO is doing everything they can to be competitive while looking at the long overdue post triangle future. I happen to believe in Nash, Gasol and Kobe. And aging injured big three no doubt but Boston too Miami seven games in the ECF under similar circumstances.

            Hating on D’Antoni or Kupchak doesn’t help our cause right now. I can actually see the method in the midst of this madness. Uncertainty is a given but I’m encouraged regardless.

          • Jim213

            ??? I’m being respectful (still represent the BRAND) than the HATERS AND BAND WAGONERS… you’ve been to other sites. Many who root for the Lakers sound like they seriously want to LYNCH Bust & Dumbtoni! But I’d rather put blame on Kupcake given that he’s the one who’s supposed hold the fort and load up not the one who signs the checks.

            I know you sound encouraged… like myself somewhat for this season but come next season the Lakers to do list will be a challenge for the FO as they’ll be required to fill a whole roster mostly again b/c some of these youngsters ain’t coming back for minimum pay especially if they have a good season next year.

          • Daryl Peek

            Rightly so for players like Johnson, Young, Farmar, ETC…

            Keep in mind the free cap space in 2014. We are in a new CBA reality. I believe they will sign a few of the aforementioned going forward. This does not cannibalize the money for bigger fish either. I happen to believe Lebron and Melo are staying put. I’m good with that because there are other good fish on the market.

            The one thing I’m giving Jimmy and Mitch credit for is the frugality. I couple this with the hiring of D’Antoni as a positive because the one good thing in Mike’s track record is his ability to groom youth. Every HC is a loser til they win, big picture. Who knows? LA just might be the crowning career spot for MDA. All good for everyone if that happened.

          • Jim213

            Agree with the Melo and Lebron scenario, this is why Kupcake sounds more positive for 2015 FA than next year IMO. But the problem I see for Dumbtoni is the players themselves… though solid, I don’t see any bangers like K Rambis, E Campbell, or someone like Shaq (mass). I’d be trading Gasol for MANIMAL! lol

            Gasol hasn’t proven anything since the triangle (still remember the B Griffin man handling) given if this would’ve been any other of these players they would’ve ran him out the paint especially DIESEL. Don’t get me wrong don’t hate Gasol it’s about win and losses but when Kobe’s the one who gets most of the blame?? (makes no sense) you know others ain’t earning their pay and contributing.

          • Daryl Peek

            Kobe’s the one who gets most of the blame??

            Gasol has been under the guillotine since the 08 loss to the Celtics. Gasol didn’t get the credit in 2010 when he was the most consistant player in those finals.

          • Jim213

            I definitely give credit to Gasol for those two championship years but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t put his best effort or that he’s earned a green pass for the remained of his career as a Laker.

            Yes, Kobe gets the blame ex. for DH not staying in LA for his so called ball hogging and just for his work first play after attitude. Like Kobe brought up a few years back he plays his style to honor his idols. MJ, J West, Magic, E Baylor…

        • TeddyOrwell

          I still can’t believe they let Earl Clark get away.

      • Eddie Lazaro

        He is probably reading some of our writings about his offense, the lack of defense and him killing roster of 7-8 players. Also, opening up to Pau about the way he treated him last season with that benching, playing him on 4 and coming of the bench. Seems like he is trying to meet the players in the middle to open up and compromise. A good sign and with the addition of Rambis will do a lot of good in integrating defense to the system. Building chemistry and cohesion will be taken care of by the full training camp, smoothing those rough edges. I like our chances and hope he lives up to the billings or it will be “SAYONARA”

    • richard

      Jim213.. I admire your honesty… but give the man his due… PHilJax, howeer great he is as a coach, took at least 2 years to get us to championship.. could you at least give MDA that same leeway.

      • Jim213

        Funny this sounds like Lamar we’re talking about… though he’s outside looking in but Gasol get’s a break b/c he’s still within the organization?%# However, I give him credit for the past 2 rings but that shouldn’t buy him another max contract.

  • So?

    This Laker roster is very close to lottery-bound for next season with a 40 years-old has-been pg, and a 34 years-old torn Achilles. Best year ever on a depleted team means nothing. If they decide to pull the plug on Kobe and Nash to save them for 2015, yeah Gasol can go to town on personal stats and lose every single game.

  • Daryl Peek

    As of this moment, Kobe’s challenge is overcoming this injury. Nash and Gasol will have to be the vets to hold the fort down during Kobe’s trial. We are finally embracing the much overdue youth movement. Look at the Spurs. The way they did it in this Duncan era seems better right now because of the current youth on the roster. Even though they went to the Finals recently they still haven’t won since 07. 5 beats 4 MJ voice. They still have the same HC also. Phil is not built to last long term. He’s openly admitted to this.

    The day of championship reload is not now. This is a direct cause and effect of losing out on D12. Lakers Nation has got to realize where we are right now and get past the blame game. This is not an overnight plight that began with the hiring of Mike Brown or D’Antoni. It began back in 2010 as we continued to go away from the youth in reloading while our stars were rapidly aging. Every championship era ends eventually. The Lakers are the the best organization in all of sports that rises again quickly. I for one am willing to sit back and watch Jimmy and Mitch grow. It’s gonna happen, mark my words. GO LAKERS

    • richard

      yes, we could put it that way, as being the “prize of winning”… every team usually go through this valley after having been to the top, Miami is soon going to be facing this, if not already(that roster is also old and injury prone) the grind of an 82 games season plus the playoffs and the championship will eventually catch up to them… I would say, the signs are there already for the Heat…

      Go Lakers!!!

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