Why D’Antoni is the Wrong Fit in L.A.
We all remember what happened last season with Mike D’Antoni and the New York Knicks: D’Antoni was let go mid-season because the team wasn’t playing up to expectations. The same thing happened to Mike Brown with the Lakers but it wasn’t mid-season, it was within five games. The lack of patience from the Lakers brass showed that this team wants to win now but to bypass the greatest coach of all time to choose Mike D’Antoni as your coach shows that the Lakers organization are being led by people that lack basketball knowledge.
I believe we all can agree that the Princeton offense the Lakers were running wasn’t going to work in the NBA. With that stated, the Los Angeles Lakers were too quick to fire Mike Brown as the Head Coach. The team was getting ready for a five game home stand that they could have gone 4-1 and gotten themselves back into the conversation as contenders. Instead the Lakers made the move. Once the move was made, the first name that came to everyone’s mind was Phil Jackson. Jackson has been well rested and seemed to be the natural fit for the job. It was suppose to the Phil Jackson job to turn down but instead the Lakers inform Mike D’Antoni that he will be the next Lakers coach. Even D’Antoni was surprise to get the call. The Lakers met face to face with Phil Jackson for hours during his interview while D’Antoni was interviewed over the phone.
I believe that Mike D’Antoni is an excellent coach but when you have someone in Phil Jackson that wanted the job and has 11 NBA Championships; the answer should have been a no brainer. The reason D’Antoni is the wrong fit because he doesn’t have the right pieces in this system. D’Antoni system is predicated on pick and roll, up tempo, seven seconds or less offense. To fully implement this style, the Lakers would need plenty of spot up shooters to spread the floor while having a smart point guard to facilitate. In Phoenix, the Suns had a younger Steve Nash to go along with Amare Stoudemire and shooters like Joe Johnson, Quentin Richardson, and others that maximized the talent. In L.A., where does Kobe fit in with this system? How will they use Dwight Howard in this system? Remember, in this system, it works when you don’t have a big center to clog in lanes. Howard’s ability to score in the post will be reduced in the Mike D’Antoni system. Let’s also remember that Howard will be a free agent after the season. D’Antoni will need to find a way to incorporate Howard into the offense because this franchise can’t afford to lose him.
In the triangle that Phil Jackson would have ran, the Lakers would’ve been more potent and it would have been a natural fit instead of this up tempo offense. How will Nash at 38 and Kobe at 34 fair in an up tempo style offense for over 70 regular season games? I guess we will all see. It should be interesting. How do you feel about D’Antoni being hired as the Lakers Head Coach?