I honestly think health is a part of it, but certainly not the whole story. The big man philosophy is that if you don't feed the big dog, he won't protect the house. Call it selfish, but if a big man labors up the court and isn't made the emphasis from time to time, then he begins to think his efforts o D are for what exactly...if all you do is run down the court and jack up 3s. We saw what happened with Dwight and the subs...they decreased the deficit by jacking up 3s, but they did it by making Howard the centerpiece on offense. He's more than a willing passer, but if all you do is use him as a hedge for PnR opportunities on offense, then when exactly is he really "touching" the ball. The most capable passing player on this team for Dwight is either sitting on the bench due to injury or sitting on the bench due to D'Antoni wanting to win the game. Say what you want about Pau, but at the very least, he does look for Dwight much more often than our backcourt and he also gives him the right pass....up high, where the ball won't get stripped.
D'Antoni: "I hate when guys say, 'I didn't get my touches.' That doesn't make any sense. Everybody gets touches. The ball should go around."
Pau Gasol isn’t the only unproductive and slightly confused Lakers big man.
Dwight Howard, whom the Lakers have a monumental need to keep happy so he’ll re-sign with them at season’s end, expressed frustration after the Lakers’ loss in Memphis on Friday night about the Lakers’ teamwork in this early stage under Coach Mike D’Antoni and without injured point guard Steve Nash.
“We’ve got to find ways to get everybody involved, and when we do, we win,” said Howard after he had seven points and four rebounds.
Howard had a team-high five turnovers, but like Gasol did, Howard mentioned not getting the ball enough.
“Me and Pau got to be active,” Howard said. “We might not get it (the ball) as much as we want it, but we’ve got to find ways to help the team win.”
Howard acknowledged he and Gasol had “a couple bad games” in the losses in Sacramento and Memphis. He mentioned they need to do things to “impact the game other than scoring” … and then added: “Once we get going on the post, we’ll be good.”
There is an assumption that Nash’s return from a fractured fibula — though he suggested it won’t come early next week — and his passing wizardry will help get everyone more involved in the offense. But D’Antoni’s offense is meant to have open spacing, rampant pick-and-rolls and not many straight post-up plays — certainly not as many as Mike Brown’s did or Phil Jackson’s triangle offense would.
Feed the big dog and you might see Howard more interested and motivated to go chase down more than 1 defensive board in a game.