Dec 4, 2012, 8:44 AM EDT
These Lakers — with an abundance of big men and some age on the perimeter — were never going to look like the “seven seconds or less” Suns.
But they’ve looked more like some guys who need walkers to get to the bingo room at the assisted living home.
The Lakers have looked old and slow at times, such as the game Sunday night against Orlando. Or against the Pacers a few nights before that. And while coach Mike D’Antoni thinks getting Steve Nash back (whenever that happens) will help, he also knows it’s not going to make them younger. He said it was just about playing with energy when speaking to the Orange County Register.
“(The team speed is) not going to change. I can’t come in here and make you faster,” he said. “But if we play with the right amount of concentration and energy then we’re OK.
“We have to understand you can’t come out and play half speed. Our half speed is like quarter speed. So far, we’ve had trouble with young, athletic teams….
“We realize where we are. We realize what problems we have structurally that we’re not going to solve, like being a little older, a little slower, a little of this and that. We can solve them by being better,” D’Antoni said.
The Lakers have had trouble with younger, athletic teams for a few years now, dating back to Phil Jackson’s era. That may have a lot less to do with the coach and a lot more to do with the roster.
The Lakers offensive spacing and ball movement should improve with Nash’s return. But he’s not going to solve their defensive issues — Orlando scoring 30 points in the final six minutes was why they lost that game. Nash can’t make Pau Gasol completely comfortable not being in the low post, he can’t make Dwight Howard hit free throws. There are some structural issues. And Nash also can’t make the Lakers faster.
But Nash might make them look and play with a crisp energy that has been lacking a lot lately. At least D’Antoni thinks he will.
- Cavaliers sold Kyrie Irving on contract extension with LeBron James-Kevin Love plan 9
- Kevin Love says Timberwolves owner should focus on his own team following trade to Cavaliers 19
- Iman Shumpert excited to play in triangle offense because he won’t just have to stand in the corner 5
- Timberwolves owner: Kevin Love might regret trade because he’ll be third banana with Cavaliers 47
- Anthony Davis and Kenneth Faried lead Team USA in final World Cup tune-up 20
- Thunder trade Hasheem Thabeet to 76ers 36
- From late-arriving to a LeBron James favorite, Kevin Love comes full circle 15
- Clippers trade Jared Dudley and first rounder to Bucks for Carlos Delfino and Miroslav Raduljica 23