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D’Antoni on saying Lakers would score 110 a game: “I was on drugs back then”

Oct 22, 2013, 5:14 PM EDT

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

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.”

Well, more like 102. So, how did he defend himself now, as reported by the Los Angeles Times (via Ball Don’t Lie)?

“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.

  1. detectivejimmymcnulty - Oct 22, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    I can back up D’Antoni here. Vicodin can make you crazy, especially mixed with alcohol.

    Ahh…good times.

  2. emdawt - Oct 22, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    MDA is a good coach. He’s just not the coach for the Lakers.

    • skippy56 - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      Maybe he is, older stars there to coach upcoming stars may be just what they need to fit into his method of play into high gear for future years. Possibilities are there if the older stars can’t get more time on the bench when they need a rest with the younger players not falling behind, but actually running at a quicker pace to fore opposing teams to run that are not use to it. Yet this style will not work all the time and defense will be needed for the faster teams, you think?

  3. antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    D’Antoni is like a Bizarro Thibodeau. Great systems in the regular season for opposite reasons – crumble in the playoffs for diametrically opposite reasons.

    • casualcommenter - Oct 22, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      I’m not even a Bulls fan, but Thibodeau’s defensive system is what the Boston Celtics used in their 2008 championship run and in their playoff run in 2010 that ended in a narrow loss in the Finals. So it’s a championship-caliber defensive system.

      In addition, after he joined the Bulls, that team began running Thibodeau’s system and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals his first year. His team has struggled in the playoffs the past two years, but the absence of his team’s best player (Rose) due to injury and prolonged recovery is a big reason why. Given how much LeBron has had to do for the Heat for them to win in the past two ECFs/Finals, the Heat wouldn’t get past the ECF without him, despite the fact that they’d still be running Erick Spoelstra’s systems on offense/defense.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:32 PM

        I didn’t say it wasn’t a championship caliber defensive system. The problem is that Thibs idea of great offense is “give Derrick the ball!”

        Thibs is great defensively, poor offensively.
        D’Antoni is great offensively, poor defensively.

        One should be a top assistant for the other, probably.

    • JHathwell - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      What a great myth this is. Just another lazy narrative that people have repeated until it became gospel. Suns made to WCF twice in 4 years and if not for the horrendous “Artest Rule”, they likely win the Title in ’07. Can’t possibly fathom how that constitutes “playoff failure”. The only year they truly underperformed is when they panic traded for Shaq in the wake of the Lakers getting D’ Antoni and he torpedoed D’ Antoni’s offense, just as Dwight Howard did last year.

      As far as Thibodeau, if anyting his teams overachieve in the regular season based on talent, and the fact that they won a playoff series with basically everyone of value injured is one of the all-time playoff miracles. Otherwise, they made the ECF two years ago and were well on their way to at least that much before Rose went down.

      Seriously, your opinion is one of the dumber ones I’ve seen in awhile.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:29 PM

        The fact of the matter is that neither D’Antoni or Thibodeau will ever win a championship as a head coach unless they become more balanced philosophically.

        Losing in the Conference Finals is not an achievement. So save your “but they woulda! but they woulda!” for someone less discerning.

      • JHathwell - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:31 PM

        How can that be “fact”, brother?

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:33 PM

        Because it is. A thing that is indisputably the case. You cannot really argue this point because they have not won anything so I am effectively right about this until they prove me wrong (don’t hold your breath).

      • JHathwell - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:39 PM

        “Hasn’t yet” is not the same as “never will”, so your statement is incorrect, boss.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        I already said they never will unless they balance their philosophy. So the “haven’t yet” in this case IS a “never will” – unless they listen to your boy antistratfordian. ;)

  4. vi3tguy415 - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    wow I wrote this and got blocked!!! ….who cares if ur about loyal and family. people care about what you can produce. look at that douche LEBRON. see that as an example. a TOOL can win a lot of people over with championships

  5. vi3tguy415 - Oct 22, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    ^ Referring to an article earlier on CHRIS PAUL

  6. hildezero - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Damn. I remember those Suns years.

    Ahh…good times

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