Lakers Nation Roundtable: What Do You Expect From Mike D’Antoni? Reviewed by Momizat on . Dan Duangdao: With a full training camp and players that fit his system, this upcoming season is Mike D'Antoni's true test. While most are highly critical of th Dan Duangdao: With a full training camp and players that fit his system, this upcoming season is Mike D'Antoni's true test. While most are highly critical of th Rating:
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Lakers Nation Roundtable: What Do You Expect From Mike D’Antoni?

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto RaptorsDan Duangdao: With a full training camp and players that fit his system, this upcoming season is Mike D’Antoni’s true test. While most are highly critical of the current Lakers coach, the one strength I personally saw was his ability to gradually adapt to his team’s personnel last season. Of course, there will be some who will say it was the players who changed the team’s offense.

What I expect and hope for this upcoming season is that D’Antoni continues to be flexible when it comes to both sides of the court. I’m hoping he allows the starters to play at a comfortable pace while the younger players can inject some energy off the bench playing his style of basketball. On the defensive end, I hope D’Antoni fully utilizes Kurt Rambis’ strengths, which will reduce some of the deficiencies we saw last season.

At the end of the day, it’s up to the players to perform and a coach can only be blamed for so much. If D’Antoni continues to show his willingness to adapt on both ends of the floor, it creates an environment players and free agents want to play for. Once that’s established, it’s up to management to bring in enough talent to win championships.

Cyrus Palizban: With Mike D’Antoni entering his second season as the Lakers head coach I’m expecting a continuation of what took place last season. D’Antoni’s team will be one of the worst defensive teams in the league especially after losing their two best defenders this past summer. The one change I do expect D’Antoni to make is the utilization of Pau Gasol in a way that fits his strengths.

D’Antoni should look to play Gasol at the center position full-time and less along the perimeter. However, D’Antoni has gained a reputation of having short player rotations, and not necessarily utilizing his bench very well. With the Lakers not having much depth on their bench, I expect D’Antoni to rely heavily on starters, and pray he doesn’t run another starter into a serious injury. The Lakers will continue to run a up tempo style under D’Antoni, especially after acquiring pieces this summer that fit D’Antoni’s system.

Ramneet Singh: Mike D’Antoni came into last season with a lot of expectations, and for the most part he did not live up to them. Once D’Antoni took over the throne in Los Angeles, he was expected to lead the talented team deep into the playoffs. However, the subpar play from Dwight Howard and the defensive struggles of the team did not help the Lakers whatsoever.

This season, D’Antoni will have much less pressure to win and not many people expect this team to make a deep post season rush. Even though having a middle in the pack is nothing something to applaud, it will help D’Antoni. In addition, D’Antoni will be getting a full training camp with his players which will help in chemistry and development. The Lakers will need to improve mightily on the defensive end, and the newly hired assistant coaches will help D’Antoni with that.

It is hard seeing D’Antoni not finish the season with the Lakers, but his future with the team is still up in the air with the free agency class of 2014 approaching.

Ryan Ward: After a nightmare season filled with drama, injuries and the eventual departure of Dwight Howard, head coach Mike D’Antoni can only improve next season.

Although the shadow of Phil Jackson will loom over D’Antoni throughout his stay in Los Angeles, the veteran head coach will have an opportunity to redeem himself during the 2013-14 NBA.

With low expectations heading into the upcoming season, D’Antoni will need to a have a healthy squad and the return to form of Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant in order to right the ship for the meantime.

D’Antoni leading the Lakers to the NBA Finals or even a high seed in the Western Conference is a stretch to say the least, but he may begin to win over the avid fan base in Los Angeles with a decent showing with a mediocre team next season.


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  • Jim213

    Yes, optimism/pessimism, but there should be no excuses to this upcoming season as at best I’d hope Dumbtoni can replicate some of his previous glory that came with the Phx Nuns.

    • Downtoearth2

      Did he win a champs with Phx Suns?

      • Jim213

        No, but I’m hoping he’ll leave a nucleus for the next coach.

    • SpringBreakers

      MDA old Suns teams were wack on defense his teams are usually bad on defense.Lakers gotta play defense defense defense!Lake Show D Up!

      • Jim213

        Correct, but given Dumbtoni’s defense scheme is as good as DH’s free throws, K Rambis will thankfully have more influence on D.

        • SpringBreakers

          Yup i do have a strong belief in Coach Rambis he a good defensive teacher.Rambis will help get Lakers defense better.

  • 3339

    he’s just not the right guy to take us back to where we all know we can be. training camp, players that fit his system, not playing dwight and pau together because they wanted dwight back blah blah blah just stop it. enough excuses. this is a tough business for a reason. dantoni isn’t the right coach, never was. I’ve never heard more players complain about a guy. he’s just not a leader. hopefully the Lakers play extremely well, but if they don’t this guy won’t have any excuses and will be canned and we can find the right guy to lead us to #17+

    • Jim213

      Although you bring up valid points Dumbtoni may be the right coach given today’s style of play. The team has switched from triangle to more of a run and gun style as this style is being implemented more today across the league given the Heat’s success.

      Given Mike’s experience and previous success in the run and gun with the Nuns aside of him being the coach he’s the best fit to implement this style of play IMO which may likely stay in place even after his departure.

      • Daryl Peek

        Now your starting to see what I’ve been saying Jim. I’m not a fan of MDA. I just see the plan to move beyond the triangle. MDA may or may not be the one to usher in that era for the Lakers successfully but forward thinking has moved on. This was Dr. Buss wishes for the franchise, IMO.

        • Jim213

          IMO, some players may or won’t be enticed to play in LA given Mike but what better way to attract talent next season by exceeding expectations. Given star players want to compete for rings more so today than be part of a rebuilding stage.

          • Daryl Peek

            The perception of stars not wanting to play for D’Antoni is a media driven lie. Again the number of championship HC is a small pool. Howard didn’t so much have issue with D’Antoni, he was more concerned with Kobe’s tenure. Of course he wanted Phil over MDA. What player wouldn’t?

            Melo had friction with MDA. Other than Howard and Melo every other player loved playing for MDA and had their most productive years as a pros under him.

            This whole collusion of NBA superstars is new power being wielded by players now days. For the most part player were traded and chose the destinations once they became free agents. Even the big three in Boston wasn’t modern day collusion like what we saw LeBron do. Melo and LeBron set a new precedent that scared the hell out of the league and most owners. CP3 is flexing like no other ever has! The game is forever change due to that, and that more than anything has changed the Laker FA attractiveness dominance.

            Players now understand they have the power and can be their own defacto GM’s. The rude awakening for them will be that collusion is not a guaranteed path to a championship. The Clippers will find this out soon enough.

            Jimmy and Mitch are gonna have to adjust to this new NBA. Dr. Buss would have also if he were still alive. Tho he would have more pull. Humble pie is the byproduct of the trade nix and the grandfathered in contracts of Kobe and Gasol. The top superstars now have the power but there are still other fish in the sea that can help us RYZUP again.

          • Jim213

            Agree, the media does play a big role in over simplifying the hoopla but this is why I stated “some” players may not be enticed. Serena recently pointed out in Antawn’s recent conversation on ESPLA710 that there was a breakdown in communication between himself and Dumbtoni though I’d doubt he’d be the only one. (Gasol? others too)

            His problems with the Knicks led him to renounce his position as reports mentioned that players had lost their respect for him given his inability of placing the right team/players during clutch moments thus likely causing them crucial games. Players also complained about the lack of defense back then too.

            But rather than adjust/tweak even back then he seemed to have stuck to his own ways (stubborn?) and likely stepped down as coach as a result of the negative commotion from all sides. I’m also sure players take notice of a coach who’s quit on the team though he’s recently mentioned that he has conformed somewhat while being with the Lakers.

            I’m not saying that any star player won’t want to play in Mike’s system, IMO this mostly correlates to certain players that may have gone through bad experiences/ situations or those not sold on Mike. Looking at some of the issues as coach of the Knicks, his inability or unwillingness to change/ adapt to other ways should be one thing to observe next season.

            Last season’s short rotation should shed SOME light into this as looking at the numbers Meeks did lose minutes last season which may have resulted from not conforming to Mike’s style of play. Look what J Hill brought up recently as he’s been informed to improve/work on his jump shot given he’ll likely be tried as a stretch 4 and if it so happens that he fails to meet Mike’s expectations he’d likely get minimal playing time (let’s keep an eye on this being consistency and playing time).

            Thus, Dumbtoni’s lack to compromise may have led to last season’s short rotation. I’m not saying that all players may not want to play for the Lakers if Mike sticks around but given the Laker’s spotlight as the top NBA organization dirty laundry will always air out given the franchise’s high demand (+ 29 nationally televised games) which I’m certain other players will be up to date on being problems that may had possibly led to a mediocre type of season.

            Although, given DH’s departure and the off season acquisitions for vet contracts I don’t see this taking place given everyone will likely be on the same page next season given that many will be playing for a future roster spot.

          • Daryl Peek

            Agreed. My only gripe with MDA last season was his handling of Gasol. The short rotations was a byproduct of injuries and the inconsistent play of Meeks, Clark, Jamison, ETC… And as you said, the departure of DH should change the team chemistry make up and ease the tension between Pau and MDA. Brown was on the same path as MDA in dealing with Pau due to the need to feature Bynum.

            Not every player is gonna get along with their HC. Farmar, Shasha & Bynum are players that won championships with Phil but often bumped heads with him. We all know the story of Kobe and Phil’s rocky relationship. They eventually ironed out all their grievances with each other but that does not change the fact that they once had so much beef between each other that it broke up a dynasty. Phil wrote two books about the turbulence. The first detailed straight up IRE between the two!

            MDA’s break up with the Knicks was more so a FO driven problem due to personnel changes. The team was making progress when the FO decided to fire-sale the youth & Billups for Melo and Amare, in order to boost ticket sales. Melo and MDA never clicked and thus began the internal power struggle. We all know the superstar that the FO views as the teams future wins that battle every time… see Kobe VS. Phil and Shaq.

            Bottom line, this team can do better than last season but lowered expectations is the theme. Better team chemistry is the only expectation due of MDA given the FO has equipped him with some players he needs to run his style. Winning is gravy. Continued bad team chemistry is his ticket out of here…

      • 3339

        dantoni may know the x’s and o’s on offense. But that doesn’t make a great coach. imo any coach could walk into a locker room and preach strategy, but the great ones know how to connect with their players and gain their trust. I don’t see that in dantoni. I bet the guys don’t trust him the way they should.

        • Jim213

          Again you bring valid points… but who would you select as coach today to help mold what currently looks like a rebuilding phase though I see it as a reloading phase?

          The Phil’s, Pat Riley’s and Popovich’s don’t come along too often as I’m not saying that Del Harris or Dunleavy weren’t bad in those days before Phi’s arrival.

          My hope for the team is that they reload like the mid 90′s when they went after talent like Shaq drafting KB24 and the Fish man and others. The Lakers had solid players in those days too like Eddie Jones, Nick Van Excel, Elden Campbell, Rick Fox, Robert Horry, and a few others.

          IMO, if KB24 and Shaq would’ve had the experience/growth as they did in those championship years there would be no doubt they would’ve won a few championships then but Shaq/KB24 lacked the experience. As MJ was looking to add more rings at the time but with that 96-98 team I’m positve they would’ve beat them Bulls. Especially if KB24 and Shaq had the knowledge and growth they’ve picked up throughout the years.

          For this to happen they need to acquire young players to increase the odds of having better overall depth on the roster. It wasn’t too long after acquiring Shaq/Kobe that the Lakers appeared to return to their contending ways. Del Harris got fired for Phil as his style of play helped the Lakers the following decade as Harris couldn’t get the team over the hump.

          I see Dumbtoni as a Del Harris type of coach (temp) that will help the new and future acquisitions to find their roles on the team. With solid team depth (hopefully) 2014 FA will be less of a challenge for management given that they’ll hopefully just need to acquire a few pieces (star’s) to place us back on (homeostasis level) as #1 contenders.

          Who knows a year or two from now Popovich may decide to leave the Spurs once Timmy!, or Parker decide to move on though speculation given it’d be difficult to acquire him from Spurs but doable. This is why I’m more concerned about overall depth given that a team is just a star or two away from possibly being contenders with good team depth. Look at Erik Spoelstra (Heat) he’s alright but the big 3 make him seem greater than what he brings to the table.

          But who would you select as coach?

    • SpringBreakers

      Exactly.MDA he not da right guy to coach LAL.I say he wack cuz he trying to use slow short playas in his backcourt like slow a$$ Steve Blake and Old Nash dat won’t work ever mane.He is not right coach for Lakers roster.Unless he changes his ideas or philosphy things will never change.Steve Blake is slow slow slow and diss Coach MDA wants to run run run nah dats wack.Nash,Blake,Gasol,Kaman all slow and old it’s not a run and gun roster it’s a slow tempo roster.Ya young fast brothas like Swaggy P,Wes,Jordan,Harris will help speed thangz up but team still slow cuz the old veterans on da squad.MDA better scratch run and gun especially since Kobe coming off A serious foot injury at age 35.MDA is BS if he keeps run and gun style.SLOW IT DOWN BOSS!!!!!!!!

      • nlruizjr

        SpringBreakers, in case you don’t remember it was these same old slow core guys that had built up fairly good leads against top caliber teams in the West or East, where they had their problems was when the 2nd unit came in to give our core a rest, they would blow the lead most of the time and then the core would have to come back in and try to rebuild that lead, well that get old (excuse the pun) especially for this core, so I wouldn’t be so hard on our core, after all they are pretty good players at their positions, they’ve proven that !!!

        • SpringBreakers

          Not sayin dey can’t play.Just sayin.Look MDA gotta slow it down and feed da post also make sure Kobe post up smaller guards.Defense is key.I like the playas but da coach is a hater and he uses dem wrong.Run and Gun is not for old playas coming off injury.I am Lakers Fan 4 LIFE.WE HOO-BANGIN!!!Lakers In Da Hizzie!!!()

  • Qing Zhang

    I expect him to do his job, and I hope whatever he plans works. If it doesn’t, Lakers need to go a different direction. By calling him dumb like other fans is just wrong, and I don’t need to explain why. I find no reason to clown him regardless of the Laker’s result, no one is doing anything wrong by trying, and he doesn’t have to do whatever some of the fans want him to do, because it’s easier said than done.

    • Jim213

      Disagree, we’ve talked about last season’s bad moves numerous times. Let’s get one think straight the Lakers have played competitive ball since the franchise moved from Minneapolis. Any coach should know the demand placed on them when joining the franchise being (competitive play).

      He accepted the role though can’t be fully blamed for last season’s outcome. Injuries, short rotations, blah blah etc. etc. Next season there shouldn’t be any excuses to helping meet our objective which currently looks like making the playoffs. DH, is out of the picture and hopefully everyone returns healthy to prove haters wrong.

  • Daryl Peek

    I expect youth grooming and better team chemistry. Where that gets us this season? Who knows but if player development happens, it’s all good. Like him or not D’antoni is a move for our future….

    • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

      Everyone should just relax and accept that we are here now. FO and coaching staff is not going anywhere. We have to be positive with what we have and where we are.

      The Lakers, as it has always been since the acquisitions of Dr Buss, went to ups and downs like the rest of the teams in the league. But we never went down to the bottom like the others. Some of them have been there for ages, not even making the playoffs. The old man made it his point making the Lakers relevance in the league, spending his fortune, and a “Power House” he built, having 11Championships in 43 yrs, and in the new generation, no other team has even made it closer, not even the Celtics with 17 wins.

      We are all so spoiled that every year, we are hoping for another Championship ring, and that has not change, it is also the very reason why they revised the rules with this New CBA in play, they are bitter that we always winning the game.

      I can not blame Jimmy or Mitch for what this new rules have brought in, as it is happening, it is above and beyond what they can do. It is affecting us more than anyone, but that doesn’t cause for us to panic or start pointing fingers of who should and should not be, what if and if not be. Buts, If’s, or maybe are not Lakers excuses, never been. We load, reload and do it over again, but there will be no excuses here.

      I was looking at all the gripes, and tho some may have legit pointers and concerns, it is not enough to make a valid excuse of demeaning those who are in there, running the FO, or leading the show for that matter. I was never a great fan of MDA or Jimmy, but these guys are doing the best way they can, given the constraint they have on hand, but they also want the team to win, more so than what most of us thinks.

      Motivations are coming from a positive attitude expecting a positive result. A sour approach will more than likely leave us with a bitter end return, like the one last year, so which ones are we?

      In my case, win or loose, I take it positively, for the players and the people they work with, does everything they can to help the team with their best ability to win. My 2cents.

      • Daryl Peek

        The only people not relaxed are the ones hating on D’Antoni Eddie. These are the ones who I usually argue with because they’d rather see us loose then for D’Antoni to succeed? If MDA succeeds the Lakers win. I don’t get it?!?

        • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

          Me too, I though that since we are on Lakers website, we will not be bashing our own staff and the team. I know that with our high standards, every addition in our team will be facing scrutiny, from staff, coaches to players, and there will be some doubts on them being young or “NEW”. But some here are coming out to be just HATERS. Wondering if they really know something about basketball. I mean it in a deeper sense and not just watching the games.

          Making plays, offensive and defensively, creating team synchronicity and chemistry. MDA is a good coach, not great but so are so many of these coaches that did not even make the playoffs. He may not have that great resume but people should give him credits for his stint with the Suns and NY(playoffs and final appearances). Though he has shown stubbornness at times, he needed that to contain the “Egos” in the locker room to have an order, also to get across to his every player. It is hard to judge him harshly and fully, until we all see what he can really do. That’s all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

    Expect nothing less this season. He will have a complete training camp, a group of guys who wants to play together with the Lakers, right there is a great chemistry in the making. A bunch of guys who doesn’t have anything to loose but to prove that they belong in the league, with the Lakers, that’s something to build and work on. Also, most of these additions have been moved around from one team to another, a couple was not even given a break to be in the league. This will be their chance to showcase and prove teams that turned them down or trade them made their mistakes, a Win, Win situation, another great motivation. Though we are the underdog, I expect this team to win and be in the playoffs. Deeper into contention this time, maybe even go all the way. No more locker room interruptions, no BS, no Clowning, and non of those nonsense media & public bickering. They will be concentrating on what matters the most, and that’s “CHAMPIONSHIP!”

    • Daryl Peek

      I share your enthusiasm but…

      The playoffs are a given IMO. How far they go, I will not predict because we are not the only team improving. Better team cohesion, a willingness to fight for each other on the court, and FUN Lakers basketball is all I expect. Winning will be the gravy if it happens.

      • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

        I am still very positive about how our team will pair this season. I think we have enough talent and athleticism up there with the best, it’s just a matter of honing these talents to elevate to another level of intensity, which in nothing less coming from Kobe, Pau and Farmar’s knowledge of Championships run.

    • tara myricks

      again…well put eddie!!!!! well put!

    • nlruizjr

      couldn’t of said it better Eddie, I just wish they pick up M. landry and I wish they would have added M. Cooper as KR’s assistant, Coop has more defensive experience than KR.

      • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

        They just posted M Landry’s shooting practice on FB today, the kid looks good and shooting well. We need him also for his defensive prowess that I’ve heard he is quite capable.

  • disqus_L07WK4d370

    Well i expect the lakers firing him , forgetting about LO and signing terrence williams who later can get traded for a better PF jeanie buss taking over phil jackson coming back kobe bryant dunking on dwight again for leaving nick young starting and the lakers finally giving the world what they want to see but obviously none of that is going to happen so it doesnt matter what i expect just do it damnit

  • Lawhorn Jermaine

    get rid of MikeAntoni and get Phil Jackson back

    • nlruizjr

      what is it that you don’t understand from PJ stating “I have no interest in coaching”, get real and quit living in the past !!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/eddie.lazaro123 Eddie Lazaro

        Some people just can take no for an answer, I guess.

  • SpringBreakers

    MDA has slow playas Gasol,Nash,Kaman so run run run won’t work if main 3 are slow and white lol hahahaha.

  • SpringBreakers

    MDA is wack!

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