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Hey D’Antoni, are Lakers starting to get your offense? “No.”

Nov 30, 2012, 12:46 PM EDT

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Here’s a little overlooked fact — the Lakers have the ninth-best defense in the NBA right now. Seriously. They are giving up 99.5 points per 100 possessions (according to Hoopdata), tying them with the Spurs in the top 10. That despite some ugly performances on that end of the floor against the Grizzlies and Kings. The Lakers inconsistent play has led to some wild swings in their numbers.

The offense in recent games has not looked as smooth, like the 77 points against Indiana Tuesday. The season overall numbers look much better than the product on the court. And why should that product look polished — they added Steve Nash and Dwight Howard last summer, tried to learn the Princeton offense, had Howard out for most of training camp then Nash got injured early in the season, then they fired Mike Brown and brought in Mike D’Antoni with a totally new offensive system. Nothing about that says smooth.

But now that it’s been a few games, are the Lakers starting to get the D’Antoni offense? Via Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register.

“No,” he said bluntly. “Next (question)…

“Within the numbers, there is some good stuff, defensively mostly,” D’Antoni said. “Stuff that in the long run will make us a contender. In the short run, our offense is anemic right now. We don’t move the ball, we don’t do a lot of things we should be doing and we have to figure that out.

“We have to get better than 77 points.”

You think?

Steve Nash will help somewhat but right now you have players like Pau Gasol who played the last few years in the triangle, then Mike Brown’s more traditional sets, and now he is being asked to play on instinct. Well, after all those years his instincts aren’t to do what is best for the free-flowing D’Antoni offense. He has to relearn that.

And a lot of Lakers are in the same boat.

What should encourage Lakers fans in this is D’Antoni talking results in the long term — he gets it. This is not about what is happening in November, it’s about steps in a process that gets them to June. Right now those are stumbling baby steps. But when Nash returns those steps will start to get steadier, as will the ones they start to gain through experience.

And then we’ll see. Talk to me about where the Lakers are after the first of the year and we’ll start to have a better sense than we do right now.

By then the Lakers might have started to figure out the D’Antoni offense.

  1. braven4evr - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Looks like the personnel hasn’t picked up this system any easier than the triangle. This system definitely doesn’t fit Gasol. Another bad coaching hire by Steve Buss and Mitch. Buss is letting his ego get in the way much like Jerry Jones!

    • tsi431 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      Considering the Lakers didn’t pickup Mike Browns “system” during all of last season points to it not being a system issue.
      Blaming the coach’s system for not working while missing the most important cog, (PG) and after only a handful of games is moronic. They are still in there preseason learning curve at this point.

  2. tsi431 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    “Steve Nash will help somewhat ”

    I hope that’s a joke. A former MVP playing the most important position in all of basketball may help somewhat? Replacing a rookie PG ! ! !

    You have written enough articles to not sound this ignorant.

    Steve Nash means more to this team then Pau and Howard combined. This team was deemed NBA finalists after the Nash trade, not the Howard.

    • lakerfan4life - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM

      That’s putting a lot of pressure and expectations on Steve Nash! Are you saying that a team with 4 current/former all stars (that includes MWP, because he is a former all-star), and 2 former Defensive Players of the Year, cannot function as an elite team, unless they have an all-star PG playing with them? That’s ridiculous.

      None of the previous Laker championship teams had all-star PGs, and one of their most unique and valuable qualities was that they had 2 all-star 7-footers running the floor and taking advantage of their height advantages. What is the difference then versus now? Oh right! Those teams had a coach that knew what he was doing!

      • badintent - Nov 30, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        So you admit that Lakers players can only understand Phil ? Fair enough.But Nash did graduate Stanford, I do believe he can understand any coach’s system and implement it well.But… ” The Lakers are who we thought they were “..Very good, but not on the Spurs or Thunder level.
        Now, lets look at the mental makeup of the personnel. Metta has many issues that are not control with meds, Howard thinks he Really is Superman, Gasol has to read everyday he is one minute from a trade, Blake has self esteem problems brought on by Kobeitois,and Kobe is in the middle of a messy divorce. Not a good collection of personalities to blend into a cohesive group of ballers.
        I’m Phil Jackson and I approved this message and invite all of you to smoke a fat legal one with me in Washington State.

      • rabidbandit - Nov 30, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        Umm…”None of the previous Laker championship teams had all-star PGs”…Ever heard of a fellow named Earvin ‘Magic” Johnson?

      • joregon - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:40 PM

        You have to remember Kobe never went to college. When he was in HS he was a basketball player.
        He has tremendous talent but he isn’t the brightest candle on the court.
        Sometimes it takes awhile for change to sink in.
        Nash gets the system, he is critical to the success.
        Meanwhile I really am enjoying watching the Lakers plunge with all that talent.

    • dko83 - Nov 30, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      If all your hopes sit on the shoulders of your 38 yr. old PG, I’d say you’re in trouble.

      • patfic15 - Nov 30, 2012 at 7:47 PM

        It’s unfortunate that he’s not a bit younger. This generation of the NBA was built for Nash.

  3. spthegr8 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    @tsi431
    ‘Steve nash means more to this team then Pau and Howard combined”??????? “This team was deemed NBA finalists after the Nash trade, not the Howard”????? WTF are you talking about???? Please tell me this is another lame attempt too “TROLL” everybody ??????

  4. hoodheisman - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    We Want Phil!
    We Want Phil!
    We Want Phil!

  5. cantonbound13 - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    How can they not pick up the Ofeensive system? It’s not like D’Antoni is spending practice time on the defense.

  6. rodge1 - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    @tsi431
    FYI, only Lakers fans deemed the Lakers finalists, no one else.

    • mytthor - Nov 30, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      That’s not true, because I know many Laker fans (myself included) that didn’t pick the Lakers to reach the finals, and a lot of media outlets had them in the finals, though not as many as the Thunder.

  7. waldoampere - Nov 30, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    They may have a problem picking up D’Antoni’s offense but they won’t have a problem picking up his defense. He doesn’t have one.

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:26 PM

      Which must make their defensive rating of ninth in the league (tied with the Spurs) all the more amazing.

  8. sydneysachs - Nov 30, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Re: braven4evr’s comment, “Another bad coaching hire by Steve Buss and Mitch”… I didn’t realize Jerry Buss had another bumbling, incompetent son besides Jim! No wonder the Lakers are in such bad shape.

  9. jeff6381 - Nov 30, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    I knew this would happen the management overreacted and fired Mike Brown and the best thing they could have done was hire Phil back and I still don’t think that would have made a big difference look for the next escapegoat to be Gasol nobody will admit it but this team is to old and slow.

  10. buffalowned - Nov 30, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Kinda hard to pick up an offense when Kobe’s on the team

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      That comment is stupid on about three different levels.

  11. bozosforall - Nov 30, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    The Lakers will be just fine, haters. No worries here.

  12. rmfields - Dec 1, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    Mike Brown was fired way too soon. Remember the Heat back in 2010-11? It was the first year LeBron, Bosh, and Wade played together. They had some growing pains and started the season 9-8. However, eventually went on a tear and reached the finals that year. The Lakers are 7-8 right now, which is fairly similar to how the Heat began their season.

    Stars on new teams just need to find their groove and build chemistry. It all takes time. The Lakers should have stuck with Mike Brown, because now with D’antoni, they have to learn a new offense and it has just set them back even more.

  13. omniusprime - Dec 1, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    I don’t get the Dumbtoni offense either, that’s because he has no offense. What a laugh saying the Lakers have the 9th best defense, as if Dumbtoni is now some kind of defensive genius. The only reason they aren’t having so many points scored against them is because their offense is so pathetic that other teams just don’t have to score much to beat the poorly coached Lakers.

    Kurt it amazes me that you can write more stupid articles each passing day about the Lakers. Why don’t you try writing something intelligent, like how’s Ancient Nash’s injury healing up and when is the Ancient old geezer coming back? Now that’s a story that has been missing for a week since Nash was supposed to be re-evaluated last weekend.

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 1, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      The part about the Lakers having the ninth best defense in the NBA was based on the statistics that show they have the ninth best defense in the NBA.

  14. manchestermiracle - Dec 1, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    For one game, at least, the Lakers have made all the comments about “not being able to pick up D’Antoni’s offense” and “not playing any defense” look pretty short-sighted and down-right stupid. Yes, it was just another .500 team (Nuggets), but it’s a start.

    Jamison and Meeks drilling multiple threes, while Howard dominated the paint and Bryant and Gasol dished assists all night, are good indications of where the Lakers are trying to go.

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