Mike D’Antoni Felt Xavier Henry’s Injury Took Air Out Of Lakers

Mike D’Antoni Felt Xavier Henry’s Injury Took Air Out Of Lakers


In the Lakers 91-85 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the team had began to build some momentum which amounted to a 15-point lead. However, the team lost a bit of steam when reserve Xavier Henry went down with a head injury that required nine stitches to his forehead. After Henry knocked down two free throws, the Spurs went on a quick 7-0 run, and kept the momentum for the remainder of the game by slowly chipping away at the Lakers lead, then building one of their own. Head coach Mike D’Antoni felt that moment changed the game for the Lakers.

Seeing one of your guys go down hard and get up with a nasty laceration on his forehead could take the wind out of your sails, but the Lakers are going to have to learn how to maintain their collective energy for a full 48 minutes. Despite the Lakers struggling to regain their energy, they still had an opportunity to win down the stretch, but were out played and out executed down the stretch to the tune of 13-5 in the last 3:55 of the game and lost by six. The Lakers move on to a game against the Hawks on Sunday. They’ll have to put the loss behind them, learn from losing a winable game and improve on what they’ve been able to build.


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  • LakersHeatBeef

    Long delay caused Lakers to go cold perhaps?

  • Jonathan Ly

    He should have inserted Jordan Hill way earlier.

    Hill should be the starting PF or 6th Man, not feeling Kaman. I know he takes space away from Gasol to operate in the post, but the man gets you more O-Boards. If you’re running the offense through Gasol, which they should, they NEED someone else to help clean up on class. Williams had 0 Offensive Boards tonight.

    Blake is playing 2-Guard, Young is effectively Small Forward, and Williams is playing the 4. Insert Hill in at the 4, and reverse their minutes. The starting squad has no energy. Nash can’t orchestrate like he used to, and our 2-4 are undersized for their position. Hill offers so much energy it would help the offense.

    Then you sit Gasol down and bring in Kaman, Farmar, Xavier, and Wesley. Shorten the rotation 10, and have 11 be the on call.

    • Daryl Peek

      Kaman is cool. Agreed on Hill tho. Gasol is letting us down, he needs to get in the low post. Losing Henry messed up the bench mob rotation.

  • ra

    If that’s really the case, then it’s almost a good sign that the Lakers can indeed get into a groove, and run the opponent ragged. When they first showed the Lakers/Spurs game (on ESPN), it was after the Heat/Nets game, which went over the allotted time (BTW, it was great to see the Nets beat the Heat).

    Anyway, the Lakers were leading the Spurs, and were keeping the Spurs from scoring much! They were trouncing the Spurs, and it was very encouraging at that point.

    X-factor and JHill are sparks for the team. Its really great to have this energy on the team – like having Ronny Turiaf again.

  • Chyeah

    Another problem is the Lakers have is their excessive 3 point attempts. I mean 27 attempts, and you only made 8 of them? Anyway I agree put the loss behind, learn from your mistakes and focus on the next game against the Hawks.

    • Joejoejoe

      It’s very common for nba teams to shoot excessive threes in this era. The midrange game is dead.

  • Zimmeredge

    in those type of game, you need the Mamba. Nick Young was non existent and he is the only player who create his own shot.
    and yes Henry’s injury stopped our great run. The first unit played well (especially Gasol) and the “a-team” started massively. but the machine broke down and our rythm was messed all game long.
    little by little Nash is getting back. he still lacks rythm and doesn’t have a good feel for his shot but it’s getting back.
    Shawne and Blake we NEED them to be 40% 3pters players. They are so important for our spacing.
    I don’t understand why we didn’t see more of Gasol/Kaman tonight. But i do understand that D’antoni is trying to give balanced minutes to every single player and a full quarter for both Kaman and Hill. The idea of putting Hill during the 4th is great. We need his energy at this exact moment in the game.
    But as long as Nick Young do not grow a “mamba instinct” we will need Kobe Bryant. We would (and should) have win this game.

    good start of the season but we should be 2win-1loss so a bit disappointed.

  • Joejoejoe

    The d’antoni system vs the spurs system that has won championships and got to within one game of the championship last year.

  • Jim213

    First half: inconsistent shooting, and defense aside of other things. Jonathan Ly, agree, J Hill should’ve been with the 2nd team from the start rather than keep experimenting with (2nd team) given they gave up too many second chance opportunities. That’s what lost us the game NOT Henry’s injury which so called deflated the team.

    Clearly Hill has proven to be one of the team’s best defenders that also applies to rebounding and overall hustle. Even Meeks has proven to fair better than other players with so called bigger roles as his biggest asset comes defensively thus far. Hill didn’t get playtime until the 4th qtr?… a game the team should’ve won.

    Not seeing the type of hustle from Gasol who continues to get stripped of balls and out hustled along with other players. IMO, rather than experiment offensively Dumbtoni may have to incorporate better chemistry with defensive minded players. Seems like Gasol prefers playing up top rather than under the rim yet he’s inconsistent with his shooting and shot selection along with many others.

    I’d try out Hill at the 5 and Pau at the 4. At least we’ll know Hill (garbage man) will be battling for rebounds and on the defensive end. Nash couldn’t even make a shot to save his life unlike the old Nash. Farmar struggled and was replaced for Blake (middle 4th) who also shot inconsistently throughout the game. Staples looked deflated (fans) too.

    IMO, though nobody played good (yesterday) aside of Hill and Meeks (current role) X Henry, Farmar, and W Johnson have proven to be good pickups this off season. (Although, if we’re talking starter role, X Henry may fit the bill though requires a lot of work especially when trying to score around the rim (right side) given he’s left handed aside of defensively.

    Clearly some trades will need to occur (before deadline) to help the team on both sides of the court. But especially on the defensive end, can’t win games if they keep giving team’s too many second chance opportunities especially when it comes to playing some of the best teams in the West.

    Clearly the 2nd team has outplayed the first team thus far. However, can’t expect them to play consistently when it seems like two different groups play in different quarters. Had the Lakers losing this one though they should’ve won it.

    The good thing is that they play the Hawks next. But if they lose this one I’d expect some to start criticizing the team’s hustle. Beat the teams they’re suppose to beat and meet the challenges when playing the top teams (#rollwithit).

  • Matt Williams

    D’Antoni’s decision making is ridiculous. Fire him!!!

  • Daryl Peek

    Dave McMenamin ‏@mcten13h
    Xavier, who made 2 free throws before the cut on his forehead was stitched up, said Kobe – who hit 2 FTs w/ a torn Achilles – gave him props

    D’antoni is right about X but he needs to stress Pau in the post! His penchant for small ball is stoping him from holding Gasol accountable for leading thee team in paint production and protecting the rim. Pau has to set the table on the low block for this roster to be consistent and productive.

  • smugbill

    the coach will never be known as one of the great communicators. just for my information, what language does he speak?