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Mike D’Antoni Says Team Settled ‘Into Mediocrity’ After Pelicans Loss Reviewed by Momizat on . After an impressive win over Dwight Howard's Houston Rockets on Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to get the best of a Anthony Davis-led New Orleans After an impressive win over Dwight Howard's Houston Rockets on Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to get the best of a Anthony Davis-led New Orleans Rating:
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Mike D’Antoni Says Team Settled ‘Into Mediocrity’ After Pelicans Loss

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After an impressive win over Dwight Howard’s Houston Rockets on Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers were unable to get the best of a Anthony Davis-led New Orleans Pelicans on the road one day later.

Following the loss to the New Orleans, head coach Mike D’Antoni talked to the media and basically said the team settles for mediocrity at times this season via Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

Although the Lakers ultimately lost by 11 to the Pelicans, this game was much closer than the score suggests. There’s no question this was a winnable game even with an incredible performance by Davis’ performance.

Pau Gasol continued to struggle on Friday with another subpar performance in consecutive nights. Gasol finished with nine points on three-for-12 shooting while failing to contain Davis in the paint.

Davis turned a lot of heads on Friday night against the Lakers finishing with a career-high 32 points. The former number one overall pick also added 12 rebounds and six points to an impressive stat line.

With the Lakers having no answer for Davis, D’Antoni’s squad will lick their wounds and head back to Los Angeles to prepare for Kevin Love’s Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night at Staples Center.

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Steve Blake Game Winning Shot Over Dwight Howard And The Rockets

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About The Author

Ryan is a senior writer for Lakers Nation and Examiner.com with an undying passion writing about the Los Angeles Lakers. Follow Ryan on Twitter: @Lakers_Examiner

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  • http://www.herbalifendfw.wix.com/nl24 Jeremy

    OUCH

  • kobe24

    I guess in a way you can call it mediocrity. I just hate how the veterans are playing (Nash, Gasol). If those two guys gave solid points and game but the bench just played horribly okay that was expected but this year was supposed to be the REDEEM of Gasol of Nash…really disappointing. I really hope Kobe can come back and spark this team or something.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    No mans land in sports is mediocrity!

  • MR JUAN_YOUR WARLOCK

    Many players (Centers or Forwards) are having career nights when they go up against Pau, the incredible invisible man… nuff said

    • Golteb

      D’Antoni should pit the younger guys against younger opponents. It just makes sense. And besides, Pau just watches the athletic players drive to the basket. Maybe he should do this at the comfort of his home and not on the paint while defending their basket.

  • Jim213

    Agree, but it’s also due to the lineup that the coach had in the final minutes. Gasol and Young lost and turned the ball over too many times through out the game yet he had them on the floor. Don’t believe things will improve if they keep missing all those open and challenged shots. Inconsistency on both sides of the court is a big problem

    • Zimmeredge

      we lack an experienced guy. We will need Kobe on those situation: end of game, money time, still anyone’s game.
      I don’t think Gasol is a bad player but I think sometimes he is not concern and focus on the game. sometime he’s too casual with or without the ball. i hope that, when kobe gets back he’ll kick his butt. Because we need a good Pau Gasol more than ever!
      the problem was also that neither kaman or gasol had the athleticism to stop or slow Davis. The guy struggled against Johnson and Hill on offense so you need to put someone younger on him.

    • Daryl Peek

      The newer younger players are the ones that are learning what it takes to mesh into team chemistry. Howard fractured team chemistry as we all now know. This is why Blake, Nash, Gasol and Kobe were so indifferent with Howard as the season wore on last year. Youth and inexperience is why Meeks, Hill, and Sacre are the ones still in contact with Howard. They all clicked in training camp immediately last season. The commonality in maturity is the reason for that. This is the most disturbing part of Howard’s growth as a player ten years into his career, and why I’m glad he’s gone.

      This is a much less talented team 1-5 right now. Not having Nash every game does hurt but team chemistry is not hampered by it. Team chemistry was already forged during training camp and in the preseason, especially in China off the court. Willing participants is the biggest part of building team chemistry. This is why the bench mob has performed so well together. It is better chemistry that has this years team with a better win loss record, both preseason and regular at this point VS. last.

      I’ll continue to contend that Farmar, Henry, Johnson and Hill need to be the bench mob because of the chemistry factor. Meeks fits in well with that group also but has the best familiarity, experience, versatility and maturity to roll with the vets on the first team in MDA’s system. Meeks desire to be joined at the hip of Kobe last season showed me this, and is likely why he’s playing so well, all around this year.

      I see it more so as a effort problem right now. There’s always the need to put practice into real game motion but players like Nash, Blake, Gasol and Kamna are pros. They already know what it takes to get it together chemistry wise. This is why Gasol and Kaman clicked together immediately, the same goes for Nash and Blake. Their struggles are not a chemistry issue like it was last season, It’s more about health.

      Gasol is the most fragile of the bunch mentally. I really feel his health is not the problem more so than the totality of all that has transpired over the last 3 plus seasons. Pau really doesn’t want to run up and down the court the way this offense is structured. This is why he looked so good last season when the team slowed things down. With Kobe out, Pau is at the mercy of the D’Antoni system. Kobe brings familiarity’s comfort and confidence to Pau who’s not a natural born Alpha. This is why you see Kaman flexing in the offense more than Pau. Kaman is not a natural Alpha also but has more A-dawg in him than Pau as a roaming loner who’s had to feast in bad situations on his own as a journeyman. Put simply, Kaman is more hungry than Pau. This is why I’m so disappointed in Pau. This is his moment to truly lead. His natural penchant to defer is completely at conflict with what we need from him at this point. I just hope he can channel some of that 2010 Pau for a while til Kobe gets back.

      I really didn’t want to concede that last statement, my hope was Gasol would STEP UP this season. I haven’t given up on Pau because he still has time to man up but I’m losing faith with every heartless possession I see him involved in.

      • Jim213

        If they had a starting line up then yes it may be due to effort but can’t blame DH for today’s problems, It’s more a rotation/chemistry issue especially since two different groups get plenty of minutes on the court. Blake, Nash, Gasol (vets) haven’t stepped up to assume a leadership type of role.

        Players and many coming off the bench mesh in with starters so having no consistency especially at the PG position makes it difficult for newbies to find their nitch/role. Don’t expect anything to change in the next few weeks until players show enough consistency and hustle on both sides of the court.

        • Daryl Peek

          I wasn’t blaming Howard for this years problems. That was just a example of bad chemistry and how it went wrong last season in comparison to today’s team which has good chemistry, which has lead to more wins so far with a much less talented team. Effort is the problem pure and simple. Consistency will never be if your team leader is not giving 100% in leading. If he can’t then he needs to sit so others can find consistency. See Nash when he sits. Nash is giving it his all when he’s out there, the eye test is clear on that, and we can see slow improvement. I can’t say the same for Pau. The chemistry is already there. This is why the bench out scores the starters. Mixing and matching is not the fix. Pau manning up or sitting down is.

          • Jim213

            Agree, mixing rotations hurts to an extent since many seem to play better in certain groups. Given that S Williams hasn’t played too good and the team is struggling at the 4 when Gasol’s on the floor.

            Might as well give R Kelly a shot at the 4 given he can probably show more consistency (shooting) with Kaman at the 5. This will likely help the 2nd group bond more if they get more playtime together while not mixing groups up though it won’t address the problem in the long run.

          • Daryl Peek

            Pau will either come around or MDA might need to bench him. I don’t know if he will have the guts to make that call with No Howard or another viable option, especially give all that went down last season.

            Sitting Pau is the only way I see Kelly getting PT. We have not seen the last of Williams, you can bet on that.

      • ra

        All good points, and I agree with them.

        Also, this team played well against Clips, Rocks, and even the Spurs (despite the loss).

        If a team ‘isnt’ good’, they can’t ‘accidentally win’ against all good teams (generally speaking, but yes, things also depend on matchups). Just like, a student can’t ‘accidentally’ score well on a few tests, tank on others, and be considered a ‘bad student’. If you’re not good, that’s that. (well, the 76ers managed to do well, but not necessarily against all good teams).

        This Lakers team is adjusting, and 1/2 dozen games is too few to make judgements. Think of it like a sine wave. They have big ups, big downs, but the amplitude of the wave will start to shrink, and we’ll ‘probably’ have fewer big downs, and hopefully more positive games.

        I’m hoping that other teams, which of course ‘learn their opponent’ by playing them, don’t necessarily adjust to the Lakers after 3 quarters, and all is done after that. This Lakers team has given good teams ‘trouble’, which is a good sign. Teams can’t just ‘run all over’ the Lakers on a consistent basis – and I think it gets better.

        For the Spurs game, I saw the Spurs ‘scrambling’ to learn the Lakers system for 3 quarters. And into the 4th quarter, I saw Popovich standing up, and having a worried look on his face. The Lakers was a team the Spurs (Finals contenders) were supposed to beat handily (even without Tim Duncan), but – the Lakers were trouble for the Spurs, and their ‘excellent’ coach. GREAT sign, as far as I’m concerned.

        I’m interested to see how things settle in January.

        • Daryl Peek

          Exactly on the Spurs game. This is more evidence of the good team chemistry they already have. Consistency is not a problem with the bench or new players. inconsistency rooted in Nash and Pau. More so Pau then Nash the last few games, and it’s all about effort IMO.

          Unless Pau fails to man up and or Nash can’t heal… Nash Blake, Young, Kaman and Pau should remain the starters. Meeks should be the rotational starter when Nash sits back to backs. Hill is better suited to be with the reserves. His PER will drastically shrink if given starter minutes. Mixing and matching should only be the case when faced with a small ball team. If it were up to me the rotations would already be set til Kobe returns.

      • Joseph Apohen

        I have always liked Pau from the time I saw him play. However, lately I cannot understand how he is performing. It seems he has given up. He still has that European mentality of not hurting those that are driving to the basket against him as Harden did. All Pau did was raised his arms and got out of the way. Do you think Shaq would have done that. Clobber the man to let him know he is not getting any easy layups. He will not get a red card. This is not soccer. BB is not suppose to be a contact sport, but it is! Against Tony Davis he had his shots blocked several times. I guess he thought that with his height he could get his shot over Davis. The #1 choice from last year is young and has all the energy. Pau could not much that but with experience I think he could have done much better. I hope to see him out of this funk. He is too good of a player to remain in that situation. He did not win all those Olympic and World medals for nothing. He is only 33. He has at least two more quality years left.

        • Daryl Peek

          I’ll take it even further Joseph. I’ve seen Pau with some explosiveness this season. He’s won several jump balls and got good lift on that dunk against the Hawks. Now I’m no doctor so maybe he’s sore after playing for so long? But he needs to communicate that to the coaching staff if that’s the case. He’s the team leader, we need his effort on the court. I’m really disappointed in him so far but I haven’t given up on him yet. I’m too much of a fan to give but I’ll never sugar coat what I see.

      • hookedonnews

        Gasol has been sick. Maybe that’s part of what’s going on with him. Hoping the last couple of games aren’t an indication of what we can expect the rest of the season from him.

    • Lakers Fan

      I think this is the why we should have pulled the trigger with Brooklyn last year on th Dwight trade. We could have Lopez, Marshon Brooks, and Gerald Wallace right now. That would have solved a lot of our post and perimeter defense. Even if Wallace wasn’t making his shots, he would still be a solid perimeter defender. Now we stuck with a bunch of one dimensional players who can’t offer anything outside of shooting jumpers(Nick Young). Right now, Mike can’t keep switching out the starters. Let the bench remain Farmar, Meeks, Henry, Johnson, and Hill. Continue to play the usual starters Nash, Blake, Young, Gasol, and Kaman. He can’t keep switching the lineups everytime somebody has a bad game. He has to let them gain some type of consistency and chemistry with each other, at least until Kobe comes back. There is no way they can do that if he keeps switching up the lineups.

  • laker fan

    We lost cuz pau is playing like a straight bitch be it back to back or wit 3 days rest playing horrible the team is playing they part he needs to be benched id rather hill or kaman in there shit id almost rather sacre smh

    • Tina Moran

      I’ve been watching Gasol closely for the past 2 seasons and he seems to be in the decline. He fumbles the ball more, faster players gets steals from him, his moves are so predictive and slow on the paint that he could easily be blocked by smaller players. There are spurts of greatness but, right now we need consistency. And let’s not talk about age cause Duncan is much older but more consistent.

  • Gregory Choa

    Gasol is saying all the right thinks in the wake of his poor play of late, and at least he’s smart enough to recognize his deficiencies, now he’s just got to go out there and execute…time to put the big boy pants back on. I think having Steve Nash back in the start the next game will help get Pau back on track. Let’s not assassinate the guy just yet..something tells me he’ll bounce back against Anthony Davis when the Lakers square off again against the Pelicans at Staples on Tuesday night.

  • Paytc

    They did not do anything but lose the hunger and desire they had to beat Houston. That has to be something the coach or a great team leader makes sure does not happen. I have concerns about the team and certain players being able to maintain a high level of play without an outside motivation which Howard was. The team just has to stay hungry and keep “STEPPING UP “.

    It’s the same team just different focus. The coach also has to put the right players on the floor regardless to the amount of money they make. Give me production over theory.You win games with effort and production you don’t win them on paper. So if someone is proving to be more capable roll with that someone.

    Go Lakers !

  • Jim213

    LakersHeatBeef, post moderation

    Good points, I have them with a similar record as last year (45 wins) especially since they struggle to close out games. IMO, given the team is far from contention it’s best to sit out Kobe more minutes given his previous injury. They shouldn’t risk his 3-4 remaining years by expecting him to assume the same role/responsibilities as in the past.

    Makea trade for a consistent shooter or a 4 or 5 that can score within the paint to try to balance things out given the teams shooting struggles which includes shooting consistently. I’d rather see Kobe play in crucial moments and not over 30+ minutes this season (too early). IMO, this will buy him time to adjust to his injury while looking forward to
    the next off season when he goes back to his old off season routine involving strength and conditioning.

    By then his AT injury will likely have adjusted. If management does what they’re suppose to do then we may possibly be contending next season with the right pickups while having KB24 at close to 90% = 100% next season to make a serious run (hopefully).

  • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

    As each game is played. I am leaning more to the school of thought of letting Pau Gasol go if there is a taker…

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