Source: Mike D'Antoni will be the next coach of the Lakers. Not Phil Jackson.— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) November 12, 2012
D'Antoni has led many high-scoring teams in the past, including some great Phoenix Suns teams that came close to making the NBA Finals a few times during the last decade.
Is D'Antoni the right choice for the Lakers?
The Lakers offense is ranked 10th in points scored per game (98.4), and the team's field-goal percentage is .455, which ranks seventh in the league. Statistically, the Lakers don't appear to be struggling offensively. The problem for the Lakers is the way their offense is being run.
The Princeton offense wasn't working in the first few games of the year because the types of players Los Angeles has doesn't fit this kind of scheme.
D'Antoni's teams in Phoenix and New York were very good at running the pick-and-roll. With Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire leading the Suns offense under D'Antoni for several years, these two stars used the pick-and-roll to dominate defenses and score a ton of points.
The Suns scored 109.8 points per game from 2004-08, and with the amount of incredible offensive skill the Lakers currently have, it's certainly possible that L.A. will score over 100 points per game in just a few weeks.
Now that Nash and D'Antoni are reunited, they can run the pick-n-roll offense again. Dwight Howard is the ideal big man to run the pick-and-roll with because of his athleticism and ability to dunk in traffic.
D'Antoni also likes to spread the floor and make sure enough outside shooters are in the proper positions so players like Kobe Bryant can drive to the basket.
This will also help Howard, who might have more one-on-one matchups in the post if the Lakers have good shooters standing at the three-point line.
Expect D'Antoni to also make Nash the focal point of the offense, which must happen for the Lakers to have success on a consistent basis.
He may not be an expert on defense, but to be fair, none of D'Antoni's Suns or Knicks teams had many quality defensive players. This Lakers team, especially with Bryant and Howard, have enough defensive talent to win in the playoffs against teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
D'Antoni is the perfect coach for the Lakers offense, and he will get this team moving in the right direction very quickly.