Pau Gasol hadn’t complained about his inept Laker teammates and head coach Mike D’Antoni in a while, and he more than made up for it Tuesday night in Indiana. Following yet another crushing loss, Gasol tore into his team for their lack of discipline and selfish ways, and called out D’Antoni for putting out small-ball lineups against bigger, more physical squads. Per the LA Times:
Gasol was irritated with teammates putting up too many one-on-one shots and bothered by D’Antoni’s small-ball lineup, which pitted the slender Wesley Johnson against power forward David West.
Gasol called for more discipline, presumably from D’Antoni, saying there were too many “individual actions” right now.
Eleven of the Lakers’ 15 players are in the final year of their contracts, a big problem on a losing team, no?
“Probably. That’s part of it,” Gasol said. “But that’s why you have to be disciplined and implement discipline. That’s how you kind of make that better or make that not a factor. I don’t think there’s a lot of discipline right now.”
The Lakers were outrebounded, 62-42, an unsurprising statistic because the physical Pacers own the NBA’s best overall (43-13) and home record (27-3).
“When you get outrebounded by 20 rebounds, I don’t care who you are and what you do, it’s not going to work and you’re not going to win,” said Gasol, who had 13 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes.
He was asked how the smaller Johnson would fare against beefy Memphis forward Zach Randolph if the Lakers continued to roll with a small lineup Wednesday.
“Good luck, right?” Gasol said, sighing. “Let’s see what happens [Wednesday] if Wes continues to start or if we actually try to match up and utilize our size because we do have guys with size that can do well.”
D’Antoni didn’t say much to the team after the game.
“Nothing,” he said. “I’m not one to tell them right now. We’ll talk tomorrow morning. We’ll let them cool off a little bit and we’ll show them some film and get a better idea of exactly how bad we played. Hopefully we can go out tomorrow and correct some mistakes.”