The Los Angeles Lakers may be currently riding a three-game winning streak, but they still haven't figured out any solutions to their offensive problems.
The problem of how to utilize the players on his team has become a puzzle for coach Mike D'Antoni, but he's willing to test certain rotations out to see who he has the most success with.
"I want (World Peace) to play the four," D'Antoni said. "We have to be able to change our team. I hate it for Jordan Hill right now, because he's the odd man out. He's played well. He's a good player. But for us to have a different team, a different look, Metta has to play the four. If he starts at the three, then once I get him to the four, it's too many minutes for him. He needs rest. So that's a whole process. And I think Metta, going forward, once he gets more comfortable with the four role, will be very productive as a four and our team will be very productive."
As D'Antoni explained his reasoning, he finally paused before saying, "That's the thought. We'll keep looking at it."
Though these kind of thoughts are usually experimented with during training camp and the preseason, D'Antoni hasn't had the luxury of doing so. Now at 12-14, the Lakers are trying to work their way above .500 for the first time since they were 6-5, following D'Antoni's debut.
"I'm just trying to figure out the best way to play the team," D'Antoni said. "We'll keep looking at film, keep revisiting it. We have a couple of practices, and we'll keep looking at different combinations. And there'll be a couple of times during the season, injuries, sicknesses, illnesses, whatever, that we'll give another look to different people. And hopefully they'll be ready. I hope they understand. I tried to talk to them and get them to understand, but . . ."
As D'Antoni continues to experiment, some players are beginning to get frustrated. Take forward Antawn Jamison, who's finding himself spending more time on the bench than on the court recently, according to L.A. Daily News.
"I'm here to win a championship," Jamison said. "If me not being out there improves our chances, then you have to roll with it. Of course I'm not excited about it. I want to compete. I know if I'm out there, I can contribute. But what else can you do?"
Jamison then answered his own question.
"You just have to stay positive," Jamison said. "It's difficult. You never know. Next week, there might be 37 minutes again. You just have to stay positive and have to ride this ship until we find out what are we going to do. Right now, we're all confused by what's going on."
Jamison offered a possible solution to all the confusion.
"In order for us to be successful, we have to establish an identity," Jamison said. "Of course injuries play a part. But we have to establish a bench. We have to know what we're going to do with our starters. We have yet to do that. It's kind of hard to get into a rhythm when you don't know what's going on. Your guess is as good as mine."