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Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash are future Hall of Famers. Dwight Howard has the potential to join them, and Pau Gasol is a four-time All-Star.
With so much superstar talent, however, comes even more egos. Dwight Howard will not take blame for losing. Kobe Bryant will not take kindly to getting fewer touches on the ball. Pau Gasol won't accept less minutes.
Mike D'Antoni won't force them to.
D'Antoni's Lakers would be best-suited running their offense through Nash at times and Bryant at other times, usually with the other guy sitting on the bench. Neither player is nearly as effective off the ball as they are on the ball, and as old as they are, 30-33 minutes a night would pay dividends.
Howard should be put in the game when defense and rebounding are at a premium. If other teams start fouling him and he can't convert, he should sit. The Lakers have a decent second big in Gasol.
The notion that D'Antoni would actually sit Kobe in crunch time if Nash is running the offense smoothly, however, is a laughable one. So is the idea of sitting Dwight Howard late in a close game because he can't hit any free throws.
D'Antoni is an above-average NBA coach, which means he is one of the best basketball coaches in the world. Unfortunately for the Lakers, he is not the type of coach who can manage their Dream Team-like starting five.