The only thing that’s stayed consistent regarding Mike D’Antoni’s rotation involves its inconsistency.
Antawn Jamison went from commanding heavy minutes even at Pau Gasol’s expense to someone who might not play entirely. Jordan Hill has come full circle going from “DNP” status to the team’s featured reserve forward all the way back to “DNP” again. Metta World Peace went from starting small forward to reserve power forward. Devin Ebanks went from forgotten man to starting small forward. Chris Duhon and Darius Morris have alternated as the starting point guard.
The only variables that remain the same: Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Gasol still have their starting spots. Jodie Meeks has continuously elevated his role because of his dependable three-point shooting, so much that he may start at shooting guard when the Lakers (12-14) visit the Golden State Warriors (18-9) tonight at Oracle Arena. Whether Steve Nash plays tonight or Christmas Day against the Knicks for the first time since nursing a fractured left leg for two months, he will immediately take the starting spot.
“Hopefully I can get to a point where we are satisfied and settled down,” D’Antoni said. “If not, so be it.”
All players would prefer having a set rotation so they can better prepare for their rhythm and role. But D’Antoni’s shuffling addresses his hope in how to fully complement the Lakers’s frontcourt in Howard and Gasol. The Lakers believe Nash’s return will alleviate such concerns.
But D’Antoni’s also looking for a reliable bench, a unit that ranks 29th in the league in points per game (24.8) and 25th in overall efficiency (28.6).
“I hope to have it tomorrow, today,” D’Antoni said. “But I can’t have it until I get satisfied with it. We’re still searching a little bit. Somebody has to jump out and grab it. Then I have to learn the team a little bit.”
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