|We know, Kobe. We know.|
More than a few things stand out here. Why is Jordan Hill only playing 20.2 minutes a game? Why is your leading scorer, Nick Young, only playing 27.2 minutes per game? Why is Pau Gasol, who is largely considered the Lakers' best player, only playing 30.8 minutes per game? So many questions and no clear answer. To help provide some context, here's the Lakers leaders in PER, as well as other important advanced statistics:
I'm sure most of you immediately noticed Jordan Hill and his near-elite PER of 20.6, as well as his .176 WS/48 (second among qualifying centers, behind Anthony Davis), as well as his team leading 2.7 Win Shares, despite only playing 20 minutes a game. There is only one player within the Lakers' Top-5 in PER that is playing over 30 minutes a game and that is Pau Gasol, who is averaging a career low 30.8 minutes per game, though I suppose this isn't to be unexpected. Last season, Gasol only played 33.8 minutes per game under D'Antoni, both below his normal 35.7 career minutes per game. Gasol is one of two Lakers who can consistently create his own shot and it's almost criminal how D'Antoni has used him this year, running simple isolations with Gasol and hoping he has the strength, speed or quickness to score on his opponent instead of running subtle off ball screens or pick and rolls to get Gasol in better position, or better yet, having Gasol operate under the Horns set and letting him dictate who gets the ball and where.
Similarly, I cannot fathom how your leading scorer is only getting 27 minutes per game; Young has been their only perimeter player than can create his own shot and I simply do not understand how D'Antoni chooses to give some of Young's minutes to lesser players like Wesley Johnson or (formerly) Shawne Williams. I can understand Jodie Meeks leading the healthy Lakers in minutes; Meeks has been one of the few players to stay healthy all season and has been shooting well this season, but I think it's time to use a more conventional NBA rotation, one that has it's best players playing as close to 36 minutes as possible.
Granted, it isn't really possible to have a rotation among the outside players because only Kendall Marshall, Young, Meeks and Johnson are available to play between the three outside positions (we saw Ryan Kelly get some time at small forward against the Clippers. That should never happen), though this makes me question why Young isn't playing more minutes when there simply isn't anybody else to play. And I haven't even mentioned how Robert Sacre and Chris Kaman have been buried at the end of the bench; D'Antoni isn't playing either of them more than 17.5 minutes per game and Kaman has been basically out of the rotation. D'Antoni has taken a liking to playing a perimeter player at power forward because he does not care about defense or rebounding, which is criminal when you have Hill and Sacre who can both man that position when Gasol isn't out there.
I have long said that D'Antoni is a solid coach; he a very good offensive coach and a below average defensive coach, however he was never right for the Lakers when they hired him and that still rings true. More and more, it is looking like his final season with the Lakers and all I have to say is: Don't let the door hit you on the way out.