“I think Pau and Nash will be 100% before the season starts,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll try to go slow with them during preseason and make sure they’re OK. We’ll see how the season goes but maybe work with them to keep their minutes down to where it’s manageable and keep them OK.”
The Lakers had five guys last season who played more than 30 minutes per game last season. Along with Gasol and Nash, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace all played more than 30 minutes a night.
With some infused youth to the roster, especially on the perimeter, it should be easier to bring down Nash’s minutes from 32.5 to, what would be ideal, closer to 28 minutes per game. The front court hasn’t added the depth that the back court has seen, so it may be a bit tougher to give Gasol the rest needed, especially with Howard gone to Houston.
Bryant, who logged an outstanding 38 minutes per game, should also see his minutes reduced next season despite not being directly mentioned in that part of the interview.
D’Antoni took over the team after Mike Brown was fired five games into the season. While the on-court philosophy changed between the two coaches, D’Antoni struggled with rotations just as Brown had in his lockout season as head coach.
Lakers Nation interviews Nick Young at the Call of Duty: Ghosts reveal at L.A. Live. Be sure to subscribe to our Lakers Nation YouTube channel by clicking here!