D'Antoni Calls Pau Gasol Better Post Player Than Dwight Howard

Views 287
0

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni has been fairly open about the Dwight Howard experiment in Los Angeles.  He called Dwight's decision to leave "mind boggling" as he feels the Lakers run very similar offensive sets as the Rockets, and said he believes Howard never fully accepted his role in D'Antoni's system. 

There was talk last season about the Lakers possibly shipping out Pau Gasol to make more room down low for D12 to operate, but with Dwight's departure, the middle belongs to Gasol.  Owning an overall skillset that's more tailored to Mike D'Antoni's offense, the coach believes Pau will thrive this year. 

During a media presser, the Lakers coach says if you have to pick between Howard in the middle with the ball, or Gasol, then you'd have to select Gasol

 

Question: How much of (praising Gasol) is propping him up, giving him that encouragement, and how much do you really believe this team is better with Pau than it would have been with Dwight?

Answer: I think those are two different points. When you say he’s one of the best skilled big men in the league, that’s not propping him up. That’s the truth. If the franchise had made a decision last year to kind of go another direction because of youth then you had to play around that. That was the direction it was going. But if you tell me right now who’d you rather post up, you want to post up Pau or you want to post up Dwight Howard and give him the ball? No (question). [Indicating Gasol] But if you want to re-sign somebody, who do you want? That’s where the problem was. It was clear who was the best post man. It’s nothing against Dwight. That’s the reality.

Q: But is this team better off if it had Dwight now or with Pau there?

A: We’ll see, We’ll see. I don’t want to go out that far because obviously there’s an answer and I don’t want to offend anybody. I love Pau’s game. I think Pau’s won two championships and I think Pau’s been very instrumental. Like Lamar Odom at the four and Pau at the five, and now you’re back there. It kind of speaks for itself.

It should be noted that D'Antoni doesn't believe the Lakers are better off without Dwight, as he brings a tremendous defensive presence, and draws a lot of attention on offense.  Basically, the coach is just saying that Pau is more skilled downlow, and is a better option to run a fluid offense through, but still believes the team could have benefited by keeping Howard.

 

Q: Do you feel this team is better with this team than if Dwight had been here?

A: I think if Dwight were here it would have made us better. Yeah, I think it would. Yeah. He impacts the game, there’s no doubt about it.

[Via]

 

You may also like

HEADLINES & RUMORS

Wire news

G-F Rush returns to Warriors 22 Jul 2014 at 2:58pm
Hornets sign F Williams 21 Jul 2014 at 4:00pm
Bulls sign draft pick Bairstow 21 Jul 2014 at 12:43pm
Suns sign Tolliver to deal 21 Jul 2014 at 10:43am
Lawson commits to Memphis 20 Jul 2014 at 2:35pm
Heat sign Napier 20 Jul 2014 at 12:40pm
Report: Bynum may sit out next season 20 Jul 2014 at 12:40pm
Spoelstra: Only love for LeBron 20 Jul 2014 at 12:40pm
Cavaliers sign James Jones 20 Jul 2014 at 12:40pm
Suns, Tolliver agree to 2-yr deal 20 Jul 2014 at 12:40pm
Heat re-sign Andersen 20 Jul 2014 at 12:40pm