Mike D’Antoni Believes Pau Gasol Can Fit Into His System

by November 28, 2012

Pau Gasol has looked awful in Mike D’Antoni’s offensive schemes so far, but the Lakers’ head coach insists that the big man can and eventually will find a way to thrive. Per the OC Register: “The Lakers coach shook off any notion the team was actively looking to deal Gasol, who is set to make $19 million this season and $19.3 million next season. D’Antoni said the Spaniard is too valuable to trade away. ‘First of all, when Dwight goes out, he’s a great center. You cannot find a center to do what he does for 14 minutes. That is super positive,’ D’Antoni said. And with Dwight (on the floor), he (Gasol) shoots the ball all the way out to the 3. He’s another 7-footer who can guard the rim and he’s extremely smart. So there’s no reason why he can’t fit in. Ideally, do you want a guy like Jessie Owens who can run? Yeah, maybe. But he’s a big part of what we’re going to do and it’s going to take him, like everyone else, time to get up to snuff, (to learn) that change of possessions is ‘go’ and that we don’t meander, we run. It takes everyone a while to get that kind of mindset.’ Gasol has struggled to keep pace in the up-tempo offense, which also has led to trade speculation. He is averaging a career low 13.4 points and 9.1 rebounds, lower than the three previous seasons. ‘He’s unique in the league,’ D’Antoni said. ‘There aren’t many 7-footers who have the skill set that he has. He’s unique. I will never question what he has done.'”