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D’Antoni says his older, slower Lakers can’t play half speed

Dec 4, 2012, 8:44 AM EDT

Mike D'Antoni AP

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.

  1. cantonbound13 - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Time to call Phil?

    • abchome - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:33 PM

      This time they will have to give not only an arm and a leg, but also a head (of Jim Buss)!

  2. paulhargis53 - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    You hear that? That’s the sound of the lakers season swirling around the toilet bowl. In a playoff series, the younger Clippers, Thunder, Nuggets and Grizzlies will run them out of the building.

    Hell, the Rockets and Twolves may give them a run for their $.

    Kobe has won his last ring with the lakers, deal with it.

    • money2long - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      hahahahahahaha sounds more like you hope that is the case. you were probably the same person saying that when shaq left.

    • nbascreed - Dec 4, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      1. Clippers and Grizz definitely, plus the fear factor is long gone and these guys would very much EXPECT to dispatch the Lake Show.

      2. Nuggets – toss up IMO.

      3. Rockets/Wolves – 4 to 2 Lakers.

      4. I wrote this before and I’ll write it again. Jimmy Buss’ ego and need “to prove” himself have cost the Lakers a season in which it was win now. He should’ve went with Phil.

    • skids003 - Dec 4, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      paul. WHere has your bud lakerluver been? Haven’t seen him an awwhile?

      I got one on HBT too, cur68.. Doozy.

    • badintent - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:55 PM

      Rockets DID beat them tonight, your crystal ball is working OT ! NICE
      Betcha the Lakers wish they still had Sessions.
      That dude had jets for legs.

  3. misterdreamer119 - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Gasol looks like a camel. Kobe looks like a vulture and Howard looks like a girl.

    • badintent - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:48 PM

      NICE ! what does Bernie look like ?? A freaking Genius for winning 2 games in a row. Dang

  4. magicbucs - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    They are so slow and old even Phil Jackson can’t help. I don’t think Phil even would want to come coach this mess of a team. plus Kupchek punked him out already.
    I have an idea… Hire Stan van Gundy lol

  5. LPad - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    classic D’Antoni adjustment: let’s play faster.

  6. edwardsro - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    You can’t under estimate the damage stern did to the Lakers by unfairly and perhaps illegally nixing the Chris Paul trade last year. It could take a decade to recover.

    • troy10 - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      If they are able to make that Cris Paul trade, then there is no way they can make the Dwight Howard trade.
      Ask any Laker fan back then and they would have preferred Howard to Paul any day.

      • crtzinc - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        Man you have no idea what you are talking about. That Chris Paul trade would have not used any pieces for the Dwight trade. Major pieces involved in Paul trade were Pau and Odom. Dwight trade was centered around Bynum. Lakers would have had Paul and Dwight would have made Lakers contenders now and in the future. Facts!

    • AlohaMrHand - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      I think old age and poor defense have done more damage than any trade that was nixed.

  7. ninthwardfriend - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    I thought mike brown was the problem. O well…

  8. charlescub80 - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha .. Now it’s David sterns fault! Welcome to the circus folks! Bwaahaaa….

  9. staff2cj - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    love seeing Flakes implode

  10. dls612 - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    This is awesome!

  11. chargerdillon - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    It’s funny how many anti-Laker fans that come here just to spew crap about how bad the Lakers are doing. Unless you’re a Miami Heat fan, there really isnt much room for any of you to be talking crap. The Lakers even in down season are still a far more successful and popular team in every aspect other than in the wins and losses category.

    As a Laker fan I conceeded the dominance of the NBA to the Miami Heat, and I don’t mind it one bit, because the Heat deserve the recognition and are far and away the most exciting team to watch. If the Lakers were going to win it every year, basketball wouldn’t be half as fun as it is to watch.

    The Lakers suck right now, it’d be far better to use your time wisely watching good basketball than talk about the mediocre basketball.

    Do Lakers fans spend their time talking about the Wizards and Timberwolves? So why worry about a .500 Laker squad? They really arnt that important to where the playoffs and finals are going this year.

    • money2long - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      the lakers are talked about because they have high profile players in a high profile city on a high profile team known worldwide. the talk is inevitable.

    • somekat - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      Yes, and I”m sure people will stop making Eagles joke in football too

      If you are supposed to be a good team, you will get mocked when you aren’t. When you are supposed to be a great team, and 90% of your fan base was screaming how great you are from the rooftops, It amazes me that you would be surprised

      • money2long - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        i thought u get mocked when you brag about it, hence saying ‘dream team’ or throwing a pre season parade.

      • tfoz5150 - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM

        Like the Lakers did when they signed Howard and Nash?

    • charlescub80 - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

      It’s not about being anti Laker. It’s about looking at some of the outlandish comments made by fans when Howard and Nash became Lakers. Some fans were saying dynasty. If you are looking for comedy just go back and read it for yourself. I know not all Laker fans make unrealistic claims. However, when a team looks this bad you can’t expect people just to forget what was said. I’m pretty sure Washington and Minnesota fans weren’t calling out dynasty predictions.

      • loungefly74 - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        Vegas has/had this team as a “60+ win” team with very good odds to win the title….and Vegas is not in the business of losing money. so it is/was not outlandish to say the Lakers were going to be great. people in Vegas are the smartest sports people in the nation…bet on it.

        @chargerdillon, well…you know you are good when people “boo” you. hey, the Lakers are the crown jewel of the NBA…they will always be…just like the yankees are for MLB…there will always be a large contingent that hates them. thats what comes with being the best, the haters will kick unmerciful when you are down. dont worry brother…things have a way of evening out…we will be back on top. and i agree, kudos to the Heat…they are the top dog right now.

      • tfoz5150 - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        Vegas has been known to buy into all of the hype too from time to time.

    • badintent - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:00 AM

      Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee. Man up ! I take more crap for being a Knick fan in a week than you get for being a Laker fan in a Month.Hell, I even get slammed for saying LBJ is the best player in the NBA. What does SI know anyway ?
      Gotta go, gotta put spike chains on the Brooklyn Bridge, the natives(Net fans) are getting restless

  12. money2long - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    there is NO WAY the lakers do not make it to the conference finals. a lot of people are getting caught up in the here and now, but i look at the bigger picture. you can fall in love with those young teams, but in my opinion, they are more susceptible to mistakes. also, adversity fuels kobe. dwight will only get better. and nash will only help clear up some mistakes going on now.

    i am loving the negativity now as a lakers fan. i can pull myself away from thinking like one. and i still see them making a great run at the chip. i love that guys are burrying them now. it’d make their success that much more sweet.

    • somekat - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      That’s a bold comment, seeing as there is NO WAY (borrowing your cap style) Nash can even slow down Parker, Westbrook, or Paul. They will eat him alive all series. That’s assuming they don’t have trouble with Memphis, Golden State, or Denver, which is a stretch right now

    • 00maltliquor - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      I said the same thing in a post that didn’t get posted a couple days ago, but yeah, I agree. Winning the Championship THIS year is going to be soooooooooo sweet because of all this controversy.

      In a way, I’m kinda glad this is happening now, ’cause if the Lakers just burst onto the scene blowing up the competition, then when they win the ‘chip everyone would say how unfair it is, how this team was put together unfairly, blah blah blah, hate hate hate, b.s. b.s. b.s….

      I love how everyone, including some of our own Laker fans on here are saying we suck. Yeah we suck…now, but it will get fixed and we will be one of the last two teams standing in the end.

      • loungefly74 - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        exactly malt…Rome wasn’t built in a day. it will be sweet. heck, may surpass the 2010 season. but yeah brother, i agree, its early.

      • tfoz5150 - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        No way. Old, no chemistry, and you hired the wrong coach.

  13. somekat - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    All Nash will do is cripple their team defense, like he does on every team he plays. Hence him never winning a title, or even coming close

    • money2long - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      yea, cause defense is the only part about basketball. smh
      correcting mistakes on offense can do a lot.
      stop sounded so simple minded.

      • somekat - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        Yeah, cause Nash guarding Paul/Westbrook/ or Parker isn’t going to change the series at all

        Using common sense can do a lot

        What does “stop sounded” mean? Stop being so simple minded

      • money2long - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        everytime wants to make a case about someone, they use their weaknesses. howard is a great defender, so if u want to make a case against dwight, talk about his offense and free throw shooting. nash is a great playmaker and creator and shooter , so talk about his defense if u want to make a case against him.

        westbrook is attrocious at taking care of the ball, we ignore that because he can dunk and he can score. nash can change the complexity of a game based on his vision, but we ignore that aspect because he wont stop westbrook, who alot of ppl have trouble stopping because we want to make a case against nash.

        nash has many clear strengths that westbrook wishes he has, but since nash can’t stop westbrook, then we should ignore nash.


      • somekat - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        Maybe if Westbrook wasn’t by far the worst of the 3 I mentioned, you’d have a point.

        Please explain how an old lakers team is going to be able to switch constantly to help Nash, and still keep their energy at an acceptable level for 3 straight series.

        You won’t because you can’t

      • money2long - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:42 AM

        basketball is more about defense.
        i can play your same game and ask when this new look lakers start clicking on offense, who will start to stop the lakers? ppl can fould dwight all they want, but you have a foul limit as a player and that still doesnt stop dwight from getting 20 and 20. kobe can wake up and drop 30. nash will do a lot for a struggling bench, he tends to do that for medicore players.

        no no no, but lets forget that the lakers can play offense too, better than most andfocus on talking about their defense because i want to show that they do not stand a chance.

        lebron had a hard time with roy hibbert and david west. tell me how bosh or lebron can be able to stop dwight from getting his 20 points. i’ll take him making 5 freethrows out of 10 any day because he brings so much more dominance in the paint.

        no no no, but lets ignore that because nash can’t guard westbrook.

      • eerock41 - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        correct me if i am wrong, but did Howard not just get out played defesivly by a 7 foot rookie on the Magic?

      • eventhorizon04 - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        “lebron had a hard time with roy hibbert and david west. tell me how bosh or lebron can be able to stop dwight from getting his 20 points. i’ll take him making 5 freethrows out of 10 any day because he brings so much more dominance in the paint. ”

        Lol at a Lakers fan arguing that the Lakers are a tough matchup for the Heat.

        That might be true, but Lakers fans should be FAR more concerned about how they matchup with the Grizzlies, Clippers, Spurs, and Thunder, since they will have to go through 1-2 of those teams to make it to the Finals

  14. omniusprime - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Dumbtoni is just too stupid, the older Lakers are only capable of playing half speed instead of full speed. Dang Kurt Helin are you so stupid that you don’t know which speed the Lakers are playing at? If you think that Ancient Nash is going to come in and provide “crisp energy” you’re even dumber than I already take you for. All Nash will do is come in and get the Lakers deep fried crispy because he’s too lame to run at even half speed. Maybe Dumbtoni thinks Ancient Nash will save the season but we’ll see that he does nothing of the sort when he does return.

    I did see the good news that Steve Flake will be out another 6 to 8 weeks, more time for the younger guards to get playing time so that when Ancient Nash returns they’ll be able to back him up even after the Flake returns.

    Fire Dumbtoni!!! We Want Phil!!! Trade Nash!!!

    • eventhorizon04 - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      Phil ain’t coming after what Jim Buss did to him…

  15. somekat - Dec 4, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    Nash will help tremendously the first 3 quarters of the game offensively (I won’t assume he’ll help in the 4th until I see Kobe willing to not dominate the ball in the 4th, which I doubt). But he will help on that end

    On the other hand, Nash is the worst defensive PG of his generation. The Lakers will have to spend all their time helping out. Which is only going to cost them more engergy which they don’t have. The 2 most important defensive positions are the 1 and the 5. If you are weak defensively at either of those spots, it is almost impossible to be a good defensive team

  16. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Funny how all these haters come out of the woodwork like roaches when the Lakers are down at the moment…

    … would be interesting to see what happens when the Lakers get back on their feet and prove their detractors wrong. Where were they anyway when the Lakers were getting championships in recent years (more than most teams combined)?

    As a Laker fan since the 80’s, I’m quite happy how the franchise has achieved greatness through the years.

    Can’t say much about most teams outside the Celtics.

  17. fanofevilempire - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    you fellas are crazy…………..
    I just checked, it is December not June, silly boyz…………..
    I got mamba, in June.
    he got game…………………….
    he got ballz to take the big shot……………….

  18. tonyz6060chevy - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    How about the boneheads that be just hired the wrong coach if they planned to build around Howard ,It’s time for Jerry Buss to sell the team to Magic Johnson!

  19. paulhargis53 - Dec 4, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Someone obviously doesn’t understand what a sportsbook does.

    Tell yourself whatever you have to , to get to sleep at night.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      Baygon, anyone?

  20. magicbucs - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    At eerock… Dwight got out played by his old point guard he complained about not playing good enough Defense and a 2nd year center in Nik Vucevic that came from Philly along with moe harkless both were part of the Dwight 4 team trade.

  21. paulhargis53 - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    He disappears when the lakers are losing.
    As soon as they win a couple in a row, he will be back on here spouting his nonsense.
    He is the most detestable type of fan there is.
    I know how you feel. I bet cur is a doozy of a poster too.

  22. themagicfanguy - Dec 4, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    @loungefly The crown jewel of the NBA?!? LMAO. The Yankees of the NBA? LOL! Typical delusional laker fan. Forgot the Celtics still exist, did we?

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Dec 4, 2012 at 7:17 PM

      L.A. Lakers Top 2012 List Of The NBA’s Most Valuable Teams

      How can one be delusional when one can substantiate it with FACTS?

      Oh yeah, that’s right. is also under the payroll of the Lakers’ Marketing Department. *rolleyes*

      The Celtics? What’s one banner difference when you’re talking about 16 and 17 rings? Between 1986 and 2012, that’s SEVEN against a measly ONE in favor of the Lakers.

      Talk about relevance.

      I like the Lakers’ chances of getting another banner than the Celtics.

  23. paulhargis53 - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Don’t worry about the lakers fans. They are ALWAYS going to have the little brother complex when it comes to the Celtics.
    That’s where you get ” one substantiating things”.
    17>16. 11 titles in 13 years, 8 in a row.

    No matter what the lakers franchise does, it will never equal what the Celtics have done.
    It’s funny how your “facts” favor the lakers. It’s funny you have to use certain years to substantiate.
    It’s really funny that you have a complex about it.
    Funniest of all, you think the lakers have a shot at a title anytime soon.
    Too old, too slow, too injured.

    • BigBeachBall - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:00 AM

      **tosses a full beer at commenter above**

      • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Dec 5, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        Dude, even if what you threw was piss beer, it was still a waste of beer.

    • Foul Dwimmerlaik - Dec 5, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      Yup. Impressive. 8 years in a row in a league with how many teams at that time?


      It’s funny how you sound funny with your QUIXOTIC complex.

      Just a lone ring in 2008 and you make it sound like that you guys have been consistently getting O-Briens in recent years. Pffffft…

      Now move along and chase your dragon. I sense that quiver in your stiff upper lip the anxiety that Banner 17 for LA is just around the corner. LOL!

  24. paulwoodsby - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:40 AM

    Attention stockholders in the company that makes Bengay. Ask for a larger branch in the L.A. area.

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