The Bernie Bickerstaff era (4-1) finally came to a close as Mike D’Antoni took his place as the team’s new head coach. He had to work without Steve Nash (leg) and Steve Blake (abdominal strain), both sidelined with injuries.
D’Antoni’s debut was a challenging 95-90 win over the Brooklyn Nets. With Metta World Peace emerging as a consistent offensive force, D’Antoni noted he expects even more from his forward, 17 to 20 points a game.
D’Antoni also mentioned that he has no problem with teams intentionally fouling center Dwight Howard, saying he likes the math if Howard can hit one of two free throws per possession.
On Friday the Lakers lost their second straight game, on the road to the Memphis Grizzlies, 106-98. Gasol was benched for the fourth quarter in another lackluster performance.
While the Lakers don’t use rookie center Robert Sacre often in games, his non-guaranteed contract appears safe. Perhaps the easiest “cut” to make room on the roster would be the non-guaranteed deal of Darius Johnson-Odom, who was recently assigned to the D-Fenders (although the Lakers may still intend to keep their athletic rookie guard).