Mike D’Antoni is not the most liked man in Los Angeles. The Lakers had an extremely disappointing season last year when the talent they had didn’t work out. They tried to run the Princeton offense under Mike Brown, but he was fired after a 1-4 start. That led to a lot of speculation in regards to Phil Jackson being back on the sidelines, but they ended up going in a different direction. The Lakers hired Mike D’Antoni, and it was not received well by Lakers fans.
D’Antoni runs an offense that has a lot of spacing, pick and rolls, and quick movement. The Lakers had arguably the best pick and roll point guard in Steve Nash, and the best pick and roll big man in Dwight Howard. They had some shooters in Jodie Meeks, Antwan Jamison, and Steve Blake, and there was a chance that it could work. It turns out that Howard wasn’t interested in playing pick and roll, and the pressure of playing in the same uniform as Shaq, Kareem, Wilt, and Mikan may have weighed on his effort to play within the flow of the offense. He was also hurt, and the whole thing was just a mess.
Howard left the Lakers, Kobe Bryant is out with an Achilles injury, and Steve Nash is out with a back issue. D’Antoni is coaching a bunch of young guys who are on one year deals, and this team doesn’t have high expectations. The Lakers will probably be bad, and D’Antoni will likely be the scapegoat. He has now been coaching the Lakers for a year now, and he doesn’t seem too happy about his tenure:
He actually did a good job adapting his offense late in the season, and the Lakers went 28-12 down the stretch. D’Antoni’s a great coach, but LA might not be the best fit for him. We will see how this year plays out.