Mike D’Antoni just wants to run his system his way again. He’s been mocked for that system by some fans who say it can’t win a ring, but two facts remain:
1) Back in Phoenix with the right personnel (a younger Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire, plus Shawn Marion and others) they won 54 games or more four straight years and were a title contender, and now a whole lot of teams run sets and push tempo based on mimicking parts of that system;
2) Both in New York and Los Angeles management has not given players that fit his system well, which has led to disaster.
When D’Antoni came to Los Angeles he seemed to have delusional dreams of how a roster with Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and an aging Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash would fit that seven seconds or less style. He said the Lakers would score “110-115 points a game.”
“Yeah, well, I was on drugs back then,” Mike D’Antoni said Monday with a chuckle, referring to the pain medication he was taking while recovering from knee surgery. “My knee was hurting. Vicodin was killing me.”
The heavy dose of Vicodin is true, he’d just had a knee replacement and earned that.
This year D’Antoni is off drugs and while Jordan Farmar will push the ball when he is in and Nick Young will gun away early in the clock, the coach is playing down expectations.
“It won’t be crazy,” he said, “but we want to push it and get a nice pace. We want to get some easy buckets before the defense sets up, so we’ll be up in the top five probably in pace, but it won’t be breakneck speed.”
I still think the Lakers offense will have some good flow to it and be fine this year. That is not the end of the court that will be their undoing.