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Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 at 11:05 am  |  46 responses

Pau Gasol Unhappy With 4th Quarter Benching Again


Despite their three-game winning streak, not every Los Angeles Laker was happy last night. Pau Gasol was glued to the bench in the fourth quarter — head coach Mike D’Antoni says he couldn’t get the big man back into the game when the New Orleans Hornets went with a small lineup during their late rally — and once again voiced his displeasure. Per the LA Daily News: “Gasol missed the entire fourth quarter after posing seven points on 1 of 4 shooting, seven assists and seven rebounds, an element he touted as more significant than if he actually starts in the game. ‘I’m a competitor and think I bring a lot to the table,’ Gasol said. ‘It’s something I don’t like and don’t appreciate.’ Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni had a fairly vague explanation. ‘I couldn’t get Pau back in there,’ he said, ‘because of what the line up was.’ But the game revealed everything. Lakers forward Earl Clark posted 20 points, shot a career-high 4 of 5 from three-point range and converted on a layup that gave the tream a 107-104 lead with 32.8 seconds remaining. But that doesn’t account for Antawn Jamison playing in 24 minutes, his 16 points offset by a flurry of blown defensive assignments. That doesn’t account for Metta World Peace sitting the entire fourth quarter after going 1 of 8 from the field. ‘I thought he had a tough night,’ D’Antonu said of World Peace, ‘and Antawn was playing well and they had guys Antawn could guard.’ [...] ‘It’s a challenge. It’s a challenge every day,’ Gasol said. ‘I’m challenged every day to keep my calm and keep my peace and not let my emotions take over my words.’”

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  • i_ball

    Just trade the guy. He is far to good to be sitting on the bench!

  • AB

    This will come back to bite D’Antoni. He is content with alienating one of his star players in exchange for a victory versus the Pelicans. He could have still got the W and played Pau.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Antawn Jamison should not be taking anyone’s minutes. That’s some blind sh*t not seeing how much he was hurting the defense D’Antoni. Y’all gave up 64 points in the 2nd half, and MWP didn’t play the whole 4th quarter? Connection? — other than that, Pau needs to realize he is Boris Diaw, and Earl Clark is Shawn Marion. We all know who D’Antoni liked more.

  • spit hot fiyah

    d’antonu? exactly wha the lakers nedd as they have their first win streak in a while, more controversy

  • patrick

    jamison/gasol imo. I’m liking that jamison is getting more minutes the last few games (if my observations on that are right)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    NO came back from 15+ down in the 4th when MWP and Pau headed to the bench. Keeping Clark in there is fine since he was playing well, but Jamison wasn’t playing well enough to warrant crunch time minutes, esp. over Gasol. I understand Pau’s frustration in this situation.

    Damn you Pringles, you’re alienating the guy on the team that your star player trusts the most.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509819249 Gaurav P.

    I do like Pau FINALLY being straight about his feelings instead of saying passive agressive things via the media. It’s refreshing to see in him.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    yeah, the way Pau is being treated is turning into a dark cloud hanging over the team.

  • Max

    Poor Pau..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1566496168 Rebecca Lakerfan

    D’Antoni is so over his head. Little Jimmy mucked it up AGAIN. Go beg Phil to come back. He didn’t do the woe is me act after every game. I really wanted to like D’Antoni, but it’s impossible.

    Note to little Jimmy: BEG Phil to come back. Swallow your pride for once. Think.

  • Swag300

    Stop crying

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Glad he spoke up for himself again. It’s one thing to not start him, but to also not finish with him? Wild. He may not request a trade but he deserves to be starting and finishing games somewhere if it’s not in LA. Hopefully he’ll be on a different team next season.

  • D_B

    correlation vs. causation…ecological fallacy…ad hominem attacks…sweeping generalization. hit a fallacy grand slam!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    OHHHH NOOO… now when Mike D’Antoni reads this with an English Professor he is going to ignore my opinion.

    .

    What will i do? definitely, never recover.

  • LakeShow

    Your the coach of the LA Lakers.
    You have a player A) that is on fire. Scoring at a high clip, rebounding well, defending well, and you have player B) great team player, great passer, but is not shooting well and his defensive assignment would be harder….
    Who do you choose?
    I probably would have gone with Clark.
    Smart coaching IMO

  • Conor

    Did you see Ryan Anderson’s pump fake on Jamison? That was the most pathetic defensive reaction I’ve ever seen in my life.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    also, in a conversation regarding a basketball game where there are no actual concrete facts that seperate truth from opinion, fallacies are a necessary tool. As they are “fallacies” and don’t outweigh reason, but they do provide evidence, and support statistics that are already available.

    .

    so while they are logical fallacies, basically, all forms of player evaluation can be seen as such when using statistics. — For instance, +/- used to support an argument can be labelled as a logical fallacy, as it leaves out many many many variables that can have a greater or equal affect on the stat, but we use them anyway, because they are helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    and those are all informal fallacies, which are arguments that are fallacious for reasons other than structural (formal) flaws and which usually require examination of the argument’s content. —> as with any argument basketball related, the content of the argument needs to be examined anyway.

  • D_B

    alright dude, in bball terms – blind sh*t is judging jamison without watching that game last night. him and clark played well off the ball in the lanes, fitting well with this new ’2 pg’ game the lakers are trying.. mwp wasn’t d’ing well last night or shooting, deserved to be benched. the 64 points in the 2nd half weren’t attributable to the lost D of mwp more so the fact that ry anderson showed up and vasquez moved the ball better. pau as a 3rd facilitator wasn’t needed last night in the 4th, needed outlets. fallacy crap might have been a bit pretentious, sorry. also, pau needs to shut up.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I watched the game last night. Did you?

    .

    Ryan Anderson was being guarded by Antawn Jamison. First of all, lol. I mean, the guy hit 4 of his 6 shots in the 4th quarter. – Let’s chalk that up to my imagination. or fallacies. Not that the guy guarding the league leader in 3pt’s made was playing bad defense.

    .- Why wasn’t Pau “needed” in the 4th? The team got outscored….by 5, Jamison didn’t hit a single shot outside the paint. — Pau led the team with a +21 last night. I don’t see how benching him made sense?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    the Lakers defense is +3.0 better without Jamison this season. That’s pretty telling considering he’s played less than half the teams minutes, and they have already been putrid defensively as it is.
    .
    Jamison should be used as a role player, not a 4th quarter staple lol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Junior-Taylor/100003121138419 Junior Taylor

    I don’t any of us have a problem with Clark playing but alienating Gasol in favor for AJamison is wrong.

  • D_B

    I did watch it. Metta sucked, so D’Antoni used Jamison to space the floor and play the lanes. If they used Gasol and Jamison, that’d be way too big of a lineup to match NO. Clark was hitting the 3 well and slashing well. In a sense, it was Metta’s fault that Gasol didn’t get run because D’Antoni needed someone to space the floor and he can’t trot out Howard/Jamison/Gasol because no one can guard a 3. I don’t think Gasol/Jamison/Clark (or any 4 in the league) can play Anderson out beyond the arc so if the defense is a wash, seems Jamison is the best ‘resort’ because even the threat of putting him out beyond the arc is effective in creating space inside.

    If Jamison hurt the defense so much, what was the alternative last night?

    I’m talking within the flow/momentum/constraints of that particular game vs. a “who’s a better defender – Jamison or Metta” argument.

  • shutup

    They are winning; Pau should now STFU. On the other hand if you can’t figure out how to use him, maybe it’s time to trade him.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Why not have Dwight/Pau/Clark? – Why don’t you think Pau can be effective against Anderson? He’s not a real threat off the dribble. There was no Anthony Davis on the court. – (correct me if i’m wrong, but Anderson and Lopez played the bulk of the 4th in the front court). I don’t see how putting Clark on a 3, and playing him there offensively hurts the team with him shooting so well? And considering how well the team was playing with Pau in the game I don’t see how he was not needed, or wouldn’t help the team. Especially with Ryan Anderson guarding him and not Anthony Davis.

  • D_B

    Domino effect stemming from Metta being benched. I think Pau would be just as effective as Jamison on Anderson. If you grant that, then the best defense is exploiting them on offense ie not giving Anderson/Lopez the luxury of lurking in the paint. Even parking Jamison beyond the 3 pt lane, allowed Clark to cut better, Kobe to manuever better — situated free throw line extended, and forced Lopez into 1-1s with Howard with less help then he might have sagging off of Gasol in the high post. I think the spacing allowed Kobe to exploit better, ie when he found Nash for that dagger 3. But I agree that if Artest is on point, then Gasol is a much, much better complement. I agree that in a vacuum, Gasol is a much much better player than Jamison too, obviously.

  • bike

    Well, they won despite Jamison’s mega defensive misses. No way to know how it would have turned out if Pau had played.
    I like Pau but this buisness of telling the media he’s not happy seems a little weak right now. LA needs wins right now. Lots of ‘em. All that matters.

  • D_B

    Sorry, didn’t answer your 2nd question directly – I don’t think Pau is any better of a perimeter defender than Jamison is – obviously inside the paint is a different story. Jamison deserves his bad rep for being a bad defender inside and outside but again if they’re forcing Pau to be a perimeter defender all game – it’s the same sh*t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000166716900 Anthony Darnello Taylor Jr.

    Well Shawn did average 21 and 11 rbs, a block or two for a couple years in his defense, he was damn near Pringle’s whole defensive unit. lol

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    my thing is, i don’t think Pau hurts spacing where he plays in the offense. I mean, Jamison is a 30% 3pt shooter, it’s not like the threat of him shooting opens up the court, more than the threat of Pau – Shooting 17 footers or finding mismatches with his elite passing ability.
    .
    Defensively, Jamison was awful. Pau is a definite upgrade over him on just size alone. It’s not like Jamison is nimble, or makes up for a difference in size with any physical gift. Pau can apply the same pressure as Jamison 2 feet further from the offensive player, and he obviously is an upgrade in the paint (as a weakside help defender) and on the boards.
    .
    i honestly just think it takes D’Antoni a while to admit he’s wrong. Because while he is right that statistically Pau + Dwight has been a negative in his time as coach, he is overlooking how productive those two are with Kobe playing like this. Kobe, being this new and vastly improved player, completely changes the dynamic for everyone else —-> for instance, this is the first time in Steve Nash’s career his standstill shooting ability is just as prominent as his playmaking ability.

  • LakeShow

    I feel you on that.
    Jamison deserves some looks though and you have to let a game time decision slide here and there, especially when they win.
    I don’t think it should be the norm, but it was permissible last night.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    – i understand where you are coming from. I just don’t consider Ryan Anderson a perimeter player. (imo) It’s not perimeter defense when the only threat the guy provides is to shoot. It’s just guarding a big man who can shoot.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    lol, i know. Which makes sense why at first experience, D’Antoni is preferring Clark doesn’t it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/llock3hart Larry Lockhart Jr.

    Mike D’ Antoni is well known to bench star players (DNP – coach’s decision) to stroke his ego especially when he wants to get rid of a player and/or force general managers and owners hand to make a trades. Examples: Stephon Marbury, Pau Gasol, Tracy McGrady, Antawn Jamison, Nate Robinson, Eddie Curry, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    this is a hilarious comment.

  • D_B

    I think you’re right, the only thing I’d point to was not being able to trust Metta – he’s never been benched in the 4th ( to my knowledge) this season. Right or wrong, gotta ask what ripple effect that had. I think that curveball threw D’Antoni into a bit of a quandary I agree that Pau doesn’t hurt “spacing” but I think there is some merit to the fact that he hurts “motion,” not in terms of passing but in terms of moving himself. Jamison/Clark were cutting last night (granted not too well) and that kept the D on their toes, at least to an extent. I’m not enough of a hoops head to assess how much that helped, but it seemed to at least keep the illusion of spacing. It’s not on Pau, I think since my Lakers have 4s like Jamison “slashing” instead of 3s like a Gay/Paul George/Marion, it hurts Pau inadvertently even more.

    It’s not as much of D’Antoni or Pau’s “fault”, as it is the lakers personnel that contaminates Pau’s value and constrains D’Antoni’s options.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i cannot tell you how much i agree this comment.
    .
    I do understand why Metta was benched last night, he was awful. His defense wasn’t “awful” but offensively he was really horrid. And they weren’t really being beat by any SF or person Metta would guard, so I admit I was a little off-base using him to beg the question about their defense. – but i do think if he did play, the defense wouldn’t have had so much trouble
    .
    And when you cite movement, for the negative effect of Pau, that’s perfectly legitimate. If the movement is key to their efficiency, then benching Pau was the right choice.
    .
    I just don’t think it was. I think the offense is more efficient with unselfish Kobe, & the Pau/Dwight tandem playing together. And the more efficient the offense, the better the defense — as has been cited ad nauseum by the media, their transition defense surrendered almost their entire lead last night.
    .
    But really, your comment is spot on. I can’t argue with that POV more than a few principle discrepancies. So touchè D_B,(for what it’s worth) you have gained my respect for your opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/llock3hart Larry Lockhart Jr.

    In this case, it may be to stroke Dwight Howard’s ego so that he will resign with the Lakers next season.

  • D_B

    And right back at you good sir, glad you deflected the cheap shot I threw and rolled up your sleeves with me a bit. Until next time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000166716900 Anthony Darnello Taylor Jr.

    Exactly I mean Pau, like Borris is way more skilled and you could run an offense through them due to their passing and overall versatility. But each of them calls for a slower game. Sure they can shoot but to take advantage of that you really need a Half Court scheme to help get their shot off.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    lol don’t stress about that man. i am not sensitive.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    Your definition of “star” is a tad generous

  • Conor

    Why Gasol (or even MWP, for evidently defensive purposes) was not on the court is a mystery to everyone not named Mike D’Antoni or Dan Tony D’Antoni.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Dan D’Antoni’s middle name is Tony?

  • http://www.facebook.com/llock3hart Larry Lockhart Jr.

    They are listed in order from superstar to role player.

  • flankton

    seems to me Antawn only one who can score efficiently on the Lakers.

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