Lakers News: Mike D’Antoni Looking For Right Lineup Combinations

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles LakersThe Los Angeles Lakers lost a tough 91-85 game to the San Antonio Spurs tonight, dropping their record to 1-2. Even without Tim Duncan, the Spurs were the team that executed down the stretch, outscoring the Lakers 7-1 after the game was tied at 80.

For the third straight game, the bench outscored the starters, this time 45-40 as Jordan Hill only played in the fourth quarter while Shawne Williams continued to not make contributions with the starters. On with TWC SportsNet, head coach Mike D’Antoni still said he needs to settle his rotations:

Hopefully with experience we won’t do that and I’m still searching for the right combinations. We’ve got to get that settled.

Leading by 13 points, Xavier Henry collided with Wesley Johnson, causing the game to stop for over 10 minutes in the second quarter and he received nine stitches in what was characterized as the turning point in the game.

Without Henry in the lineup, the Lakers were outscored 23-9 to end the first half as the Lakers couldn’t find their stroke, shooting just 37 percent for the entire game.

Under the current rotation, Williams gives the Lakers the spacing that D’Antoni likes, but it limits him to using just Chris Kaman or Hill with the second unit. One idea would be using Kaman with the starters alongside Pau Gasol, allowing Hill to backup Pau as Wesley Johnson has primarily played the power forward position this season.

Unlike last season, D’Antoni is afforded the privilege of stretching his bench to 11 players, but at some point, he’s going to need to tighten his rotations. Until he does that, the bench will continue to outscore the starters as the Lakers might look back at tonight’s loss as a game that definitely got away.
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