While the Lakers were a hot mess in their loss to Sacramento — they turned the ball over like they were still running Princeton sets, Dwight Howard looked tired and slow, they let the pace drag and more — there still was something about this team now with Mike D’Antoni that was not there with Mike Brown. There was a confidence in the system. You expect them to bounce back Friday with a better game against Memphis (if that is good enough against a hot Grizzlies team remains to be seen).
Kobe Bryant hinted at why and Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register picked up on it.
Kobe Bryant put all three coaches in context recently by saying there is one broad commonality between D’Antoni and Jackson (and, by implication, not Brown):
Bryant said both D’Antoni and Jackson are skilled in their ways of “not micro-managing the team.”
Brown believed just as strongly in his basic defensive blueprint as D’Antoni does in his offensive one, but Brown’s overall confidence in what he knew just didn’t translate into trust in him from his players. D’Antoni might sound like a slick salesman at times, but you know that he totally believes in his product.
That confidence has led to buy in and trust from the Lakers players. You can see it in the way they play, on instinct and not trying to overthink it. They are much better that way.
The offense will come together. If D’Antoni (with a healthy Howard) can get them to defend, that’s when the rest of the league should get nervous.