Mike D'Antoni should be looking around wondering if Los Angeles is a good fit for his offense. Experts questioned the hiring from the beginning and now the Lakers have a sample space for the criticism.
If you have the fastest car in a race, but the driver is drunk and the tires are bald, chances are you won’t be the first to see the checkered flag. That’s what the Los Angeles Lakers are currently faced with heading towards the All-Star break.
The Western Conference is dominating the NBA, but the Lakers are getting dominated night after night. They’ve already lost 20-plus games, which is the worst start since Kobe Bryant became a Laker many years ago
When you think about Mike D’Antoni, the Phoenix Suns usually come to mind. They were the most exciting team in the league behind two-time MVP Steve Nash, but were consistently ranked among the worst in total defense.
The big problem was when it became playoff time, the game slowed down a bit. Every possession counts and the Suns always seemed to come up short because defenses tend to clamp down more, reducing their opportunities.
Now think about the current Los Angeles Lakers roster. Even before Shaquille O'Neal left the team, they played a half-court style of offense. They looked to the inside first and then would use that inside pressure to get the ball around the perimeter instead of a speedy pick-and-roll game like D’Antoni runs.
What deserves the most blame for the Lakers record?
The Lakers usually had a point guard who was a game manager. Now with Steve Nash being the field general, the team looks lost. Nash is still in great shape, but his back problems tend to arise late in games, especially if he plays tight defense on the other end.
Nash is trying to relive his glory days in Phoenix under D’Antoni and obviously it is not working.
Dwight Howard is becoming a coach killer and a virus to the teams he has been on. He is the most physical big man in the NBA today, but has no real offensive skills past three feet from the basket.
He’s got under the skin of Kobe Bryant at times, who originally was one of his biggest supporters when he arrived in Los Angeles. Now the body language shows Kobe is quite frustrated with Howard, D’Antoni and the offense overall. Bryant has really gotten thrown out of rhythm trying to get everybody touches, which is the reason for his awful shooting percentage.
This is a team of older veterans. Kobe is in the twilight of his career, Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) has put a beating on his body, Nash is always an injury liability, Howard’s back still hasn’t healed and Gasol has old legs that need rest at times.
Trying to get this team to play a fast offense all year will burn them out.
It happened every time in Phoenix and they usually had a younger roster.
The Lakers’ brass really needs to think about a coaching change soon or they will never find a true resolution.