Follow the win over the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 3, Steve Nash was asked about Mike D’Antoni’s rotation so far this season. While it can naturally be difficult to play a big rotation, Nash feels that it’s warranted according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com via Twitter:
Steve Nash on D’Antoni playing so many guys to start season: “It’s warranted. We have a lot of guys that deserve to play.”
D’Antoni talked about having an 11-man rotation to start the season while trying to put together all the pieces in training camp. Considering that D’Antoni has always had a short rotation throughout his coaching career, some were curious to see if it would actually happen. Since the season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers last week, eleven Lakers have played at least 15.8 minutes per game.
Since training camp, numerous players have impressed the Lakers’ coaching staff and have earned their minutes. While the rotations will drastically change once Kobe Bryant returns, the 11-man rotation has enabled the Lakers to play at the pace D’Antoni wants without affecting the team’s older players. In four games this season, Pau Gasol and Nash have only averaged 26.0 and 24.3 minutes respectively.
With Kobe ramping up his basketball activities and a return in sight, the competition in the backcourt will be magnified. The Lakers have six players who are capable of playing the shooting guard position and it will be a difficult decision to see who Bryant’s backup becomes. As D’Antoni has mentioned numerous times, there will be players who won’t like him because he won’t be able to find minutes for them on the court.
Check out Ryan Ward’s articles at LakersNation.com