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Lakers News: D’Antoni Disagrees With Team’s Pace Causing Injuries Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="138"] Any chance of the Lakers surprising those who believed they would fall this year was done in by the insane amount of injuries the tea [new_royalslider id="138"] Any chance of the Lakers surprising those who believed they would fall this year was done in by the insane amount of injuries the tea Rating: 0
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Lakers News: D’Antoni Disagrees With Team’s Pace Causing Injuries

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Any chance of the Lakers surprising those who believed they would fall this year was done in by the insane amount of injuries the team suffered. As a whole, the Lakers missed 319 games due to injuries this season.

When nearly everyone on the team misses time, it becomes more than just luck. Some have questioned whether coach Mike D’Antoni’s preferred pace contributed to the team’s injury issues. D’Antoni responded to the possibility during the Lakers exit interviews according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

It is very easy to point fingers when the team struggles the way the Lakers did. The injuries clearly did the team in this season, but the Lakers pace of play had very little, if anything to do with the team’s inability to stay healthy.

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Regardless, D’Antoni will continue to be criticized for his style of play until he proves that he can win a championship. Fair or not, that has been the case, and D’Antoni spoke about the critics and why he thinks they disagree with his style so much, via Winters:

D’Antoni has been the subject of criticism of old-school Lakers legends at different times during this season, but he is right in that there is simply a difference in philosophy, and the game has changed.

Unfortunately for him, others have won rings and he has yet to get to the Finals. Until that changes, D’Antoni will continue to be wrong in the eyes of many.
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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

Number of Entries : 826
  • 3339

    Just fire this guy already.

  • Lakers4Life

    Blah blah blah blah blah. He can whine all he wants, but it won’t change the fact that Dumbtoni is officially the worst coach in Lakers history and the team had the most number of injuries under his idiotic coaching skills. Just a few more days, my fellow Laker fan friends. Just a few more days :-)

    • Daryl Peek

      Randy Pfund was clearly the worst HC in Lakers recent history. Not one season above .500.

      • Josh

        I almost said the same thing, but I just get tired of typing Randy Pfund’s name on here.

        • Daryl Peek

          The misinformation of opinion on this site is very tiring.

      • Moveover Andbark

        Pfund was a joke, watching him do his “Mini-Me” impersonation of Pat Riley with the slicked back hair, and the flared collar shirts. He was one lucky guy, as I believe he followed Riley to Miami and had a steady job … I’d say he was there to put Riley into a comfort zone….

    • ra

      Again, D’Antoni was hired for several reasons, including the fact that Steve Nash had been recently signed, and the ‘coach-player’ combination of D’Antoni-Nash was supposed to create a new generation of ‘Showtime’ or ‘Run & Gun’ (a la ’2006 Suns). That may have been one of the wishes of the Buss Family, especially during the last year of Jerry Buss’s run. Showtime was probably Jerry Buss’s favorite time, and this was a chance to see the Lakers ‘get back to that’.

      That just didn’t work out. (Nash had the ‘unexpected injury’ at the beginning of that season, etc.).

      Run & Gun might have worked with Nash integral in the system. DH would have worked out if Nash weren’t injured (again, Nash didn’t play much before that injury – that was not D’Antoni’s fault).

      The problem with D’Antoni’s system is that it generally doesn’t work ‘as well’ with low post bigs. Stoudemire was a ‘running big’, not a low post big, so it worked out there. Shaq was a ‘low post big’. Gasol is a ‘low post big’ (but, versatile). Kaman, more a of a ‘low post big’.

      MDA’s system is designed for speedy and athletic players (recall Leandro Barbosa, at one time the ‘fastest’ player in the NBA). It is also designed ‘more’ for 3 point shooters (recall several Laker games this year where 3-point records were either broken, or close to being broken).

      His system also ‘worked well’ (in the past) because he had a ‘sharp, Hall of Fame caliber’ point guard in Steve Nash. There just aren’t that many (if any) point guards like that in the NBA now. Point guards are becoming more like ‘shooting guards’. Look at Westbrook, for example. Not as well known for his distribution capabilities as for his fabulous style of play.

      Tony Parker is one of the greatest point guards now, also known for his ability to penetrate the paint, more than distribution. Rajon Rondo, on the other hand, is a very good distributor. CP3 is a great distributor, as well as shooter.

      But these are just a handful of PG’s, who would (or might) fare well in MDA’s system. Are they available? Think not. Are there new prospects in the draft that would be great distributors in D’Antoni’s system? Even if so, it takes time to work well in the NBA from college, unless you’re already ready. Do we have a year to find that out? Think not.

      Those chanting ‘fire D’Antoni’ should ‘in fairness’ (and intelligence) have a list of other coaches, who might fit in with Lakers philosophy.

      Who? Personally, I thought Doc Rivers would have worked well (too bad). Yes, he was from that ‘other team back east’, but he was a great coach. But, not a viable replacement, of course!

      Who then? Coach K? Kevin Ollie? I would welcome either of those coaches from college. Otherwise, Stan Van Gundy could be a viable option. Larry Brown (would be a hometown favorite, since he coached UCLA at one point). It really should be someone with previous Championship experience, if you’re going to replace D’Antoni.

      I can come up with others, but these are just a few. Does anyone else (who wants D’Antoni to leave) have other ‘viable’ recommendations?

      • A Fan

        I don’t think I can sit through another season of having a coach who has no idea how to properly rotate and utilize a good group of big men. Seriously, how can LA not even advance to the 2nd round when their group of bigs this year and last year are arguably just as good and deep as their group of bigs during their championship years??

        LA had Howard, Gasol, Hill, Jamison, and Clark last year then Gasol, Hill, Kaman, Kelly, and Sacre this year. With the right coach, LA can just fill up the rest of the squad with shooters and they’re pretty much good to go.

        So if they do what I hope they’ll do (resigning Pau, Kelly, and Hill, then signing either Greg Monroe, Marcin Gortat, or Spencer Hawes or perhaps drafting either Joel Embiid, Julius Randle, or Noah Vonleh), then I’m thinking guys like Lionel Hollins and Stan Van Gundy

        Hollins has shown he can work well with big men (Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol) while Stan Van Gundy was the brains behind the elite 08-10 Orlando team that surrounded their big men (or simply Dwight) with shooters.

    • hookedonnews

      I don’t see any whining in that article. And he’s far from the worse coach. You have no idea what kind of coach he is because he’s yet to have an opportunity to coach a healthy roster. Be careful what you wish for. Every change is not for the better.

      • ra

        I don’t think he’s the ‘worst’ coach, by any means. But in response to others commenting ‘fire D’Antoni’, I’m commenting that if they’re going to say that, THEN they need to specify a coach they think will work with the Lakers. That’s my main point.

        That being said: D’Antoni is not a FINALS type coach (his style), and it would take a specific type of personnel to get there.

        • hookedonnews

          Whether or not MDA can win a championship remains to be seen. I don’t see any coach in the league other than Popovich that I would call a Finals type coach. I don’t think Spoestra would have been in the Finals without Lebron, Wade, & Bosh. In the end it’s always about the players if you have a reasonably good coach. D’Antoni’s Suns could have easily won a championship with a little bit of luck. I don’t see anyone out there looking for a job who’s any more likely to take a team to the Finals.

        • Moveover Andbark

          OK, I say release D’Antoni with Byron Scott as a viable candidate on a list of coaches to be considered. Coack K is not coming for sure. Stan Van Gundy won’t have total respect as his Miami and Orlando ventures had issues, although the Orlando one you can put some blame on some overrated undersized center that the Lakers wasted a year trying to convince him to stay. So Scott starts the list…

  • Joseph

    Lakers FO just lost all teir marbles this last year.These moves they make stink and the fans lashing out just destroys the franchise piece by piece.They can’t handle criticsm or pundits calling them out they hate the eperts saying the truth they suck.

    • Moveover Andbark

      Then how come Mitch Kupchak doesn’t ever get scrutinized? Yes, Jim Buss is co-responsible, but Mitch at his age can still beat up JB…and beat some sense into him. Is Mitch too passive? I suggest hiring an assistant, as he was to West, someone that would be there to shed some opinion on possible moves. I suggest someone like Luke Walton, I’m assuming his playing days are over. Time to go back to school Luke, get your MBA and hunker down….

  • Joseph

    Mike D’Antoni is the worst ever forget this guy he is toast.

  • Danny E. Pagan

    I really don’t know wtf fans expected D’antoni to do? Newsflash, if they don’t land some good players in the offseason next season is going to stink too even with Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson, and Pat Riley coaching.

  • horsefeathers

    Dantoni is a bit delusional to think the Laker injuries over two years were not caused by his offense – with young players OK – but not with three old timers and last year a surgically repaired Howard – Gasol, Nash and Kobe all went down as did Howard who was just recovering from back surgery.

    • hookedonnews

      Nash was injured before D’Antoni got there, and Gasol came into last season on bad knees and feet. Kobe broke his knee colliding with another player. Same for Nick Young. Howard tore his shoulder muscle last year. How is that related to pace? Go down the list of every injury and you’ll find they’re common to any system. This is just another attempt to make it all MDA’s fault, and it won’t wash.

      • Lakersssallday

        Still no reason to hire a guy who’s going to put even more miles on our veterans ! If they can count miles per player kobe had probably 2 seasons worth when compared to Phil’s pace. Kobe wasn’t used to it so just face it that mike tore Kobe’s achillies

        • hookedonnews

          According to Steve Nash, the Lakers never played D’Antoni’s system last season. When Kobe injured his Achilles they were playing a low-post offense with Gasol & Howard, not the D’Antoni offense. Kobe had a lot of miles on those legs. It could have gone at any time. There have been plenty of Achilles injuries over the years, and to believe that it would not have happened except for D’Antoni’s system is beyond a stretch. The Spurs push the pace and they’re not all young players. Same with any number of teams.

          If everyone stays healthy next season no one will have to play big minutes because we should have a strong bench. If you were watching the games at the beginning of the season you know that the starters were playing at a slower pace than the bench. When Kobe came back for those 6 games the offense was modified to suit his game.

          Running the court is a part of the game. If you can’t do it, it’s time to find another occupation. There’s also no guarantee that another coach would not use a similar system.

  • horsefeathers

    Just a quick PS – Dantoni has been tough to support because he blames everything and everyone else for the team issues – he bad mouthed Gasol from day one and then when the older Laker team could not fulfill his run and gun offense he said they ‘lacked energy tonight’ – I can’t imagine why Jim and Mitch fell for his line of baloney for this older team – they could never run his offense without injuring the older players – the real sad thing is Kobe tried to carry the team last year at the end playing long minutes and working against double and triple teams just to make the playoffs – the crime is Dantoni let him – even after a defensive player undercut him and Kobe went down – Dantoni played him into the ground instead of admitting the team was not going anywhere last year – who would be a bigger free agent magnet – Dantoni or Phil Jackson? What free agent in their right mind will want to play here now that they’ve seen the way Dantoni mismanages a team and Jim let him?

    • hookedonnews

      Kobe chose to play those minutes after Nash went down because he knew that was the only way they would get to the playoffs. Even Mitch Kupchak tried to get him to play less and was told he was going to do it and no one could stop him. Phil Jackson has explained this phenomenon in his 2 books. No one can control Kobe. If they hadn’t made the playoffs you would be the first one complaining about it.

      Phil Jackson has said many times that he couldn’t have coached last season because he’s not physically able. He said he was kidding himself to believe he could do it. It’s time to move on. Phil is in NY.

      D’Antoni came into LA praising Gasol. Gasol was the one who started the back & forth when he didn’t like the idea of coming off the bench. He wasn’t playing great at the PF, and D’Antoni was trying to put him in the post where he’s at his best but his ego couldn’t handle it. You seem stuck on last season, and they never really played the D’Antoni system last season according to Nash. Gasol missed 33 games because he came into the season on bad knees and with plantar fasciitis. If you’ll recall they were playing a low-post offense with Gasol & Howard on the floor the last part of the season. This year they have played the D’Antoni system because they have younger more athletic players, and Pau has managed to play well in it once he got healthy. As he recently said, they found common ground.

      Your belief that free agents wouldn’t want to play for MDA is based on your perceptions not reality. A lot of them have played for him on the Olympic team, and he’s well liked and respected around the league even if he gets no respect from fans in LA who can’t forgive him for not being Phil. The Lakers are still the best destination in the league, and D’Antoni being here would not change that.

      • roseducanna

        Olympic team MDA only an asst.Not a coach.

        • hookedonnews

          Assistant coaches are coaches by definition.

  • Patrick

    Please..The entire league pretty much plays some degree of small ball. last I checked, many guys from the Heat aren’t a bunch of spring chickens (Battier, Allen, etc..), and I don’t see them dropping like flies. They have better conditioning AND extremely good luck. All this blaming it on the pace is a lame excuse to absolve Pau, the other players, and perhaps the training staff of blame by myopic and delusional fans. What? Would you rather the teams just walk the ball everytime up and avoid fastbreaks and running in transition? I swear, the majority of Laker fans (or should I say, Kobe-first fans?) are making a fool of themselves and spinning EVERY DAMN THING so they can pin it on One guy and everything about him, when there’s plenty of blame to go around.

  • Harvey Hirsch

    Was someone expecting MDA to agree that his style of play added to the injuries? That is like expecting the Buss family to admit how much they overpay players so that they have no wiggle room under the cap.

    MDA is a throwback coach who has not proven his style can win anything. If the adage of “defense wins championships” is true, until we change coaches the team is doomed.

  • Jeff Spike Wong

    the right way is to play defense, rebound and not jack up shots with 19 left on the 24!

  • ranfan

    Bring back Bernie Bickerstaff as head coach! He has perfect record with lakers lol!

  • hookedonnews

    Of course it’s ludicrous to believe that the pace of the offense caused any of these injuries. It’s not like the Lakers are the only team in the league to push the pace. I’m waiting for D’Antoni to be blamed for global warming. After all, all this running up and down the floor is bound to generate a lot of heat and carbon dioxide.

  • Malcolm No Vmas

    If it wasn’t for him we will never got injured and miss the playoffs trying rush player on every damn play every game.

    • karasoon4

      Is this English?

  • God Chri$$$

    Na na na na… hey hey hey…

  • LakersHeatBeef

    So what’s the plan to keep this guy around???Wow it’s obvious the team struggled with his style of play over the last 2 years.Maybe the Lakers just want to rebuild and they figure he is under contract so just lose games and keep him around in hopes of landing a top 5 pick next season since it is top 5 protected and wait until 2016 to do a full rebuild once Kobe retires.So this is a full rebuild from the sounds of it.Nothing floating around about finally getting some top free agents or anything also Mike D’Antoni is not a coach LeBron or Carmelo will play for i guarantee it i promise you that.SMFH!Fire his ass lets start winning championships again duh.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Slow the damn pace down our players are old fogies.Jesus Christ.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    The main players on the roster are old farts Kobe,Nash,Pau.SLOW DOWN!

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Get a new coach that fits our plans and older guys with slow legs.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Protect you’re investment Kobe and Nash they are old and injured SLOW DOWN.FIRE Mike D’Antoni ASAP RIGHT NOW!

  • ersliva

    d’antoni don’t know squat

  • J Taylor

    I get his argument, “Faster play stops banging down beneath and fighting through traffic…”

    But, while this may be good for young and smaller bodies, older and taller bodies aren’t meant for the type of wear-and-tear that D’antoni’s style dictates. The constant running for nearly 2 hours is a lot to ask any person, let alone one who is 30 years old and has 10 years of highly competitive basketball.

    Much like his faster pace, his style works amazingly well with high school kids and college kids that benefit from the chuck up a ton methodology. In most leagues, volume scoring will win, but in the NBA defense wins and the other team has players and scorers who can keep up.

  • Tony

    Keeping MDA is not the worst thing ever imagine getting the worst record next season and then winning a top 3 pick in the lottery easily and drafting a top talent and this draft we have at least the 6th pick we could move up.Then in 2015 sign Kevin Love in free agency and then in 2016 once Kobe is off the books and retiring the Lakers sign Kevin Durant and let D’Antoni go and bring in a new coach like Kevin Ollie or someone with major credibility and respect.Of course in 2015 the Lakers need Love and to draft the best player available and look at signing Deandre Jordan or Marc Gasol in free agency in 2015.Lakers would be back on top with that strategy in 2016.But all of it would have to go as planned no mistakes.

  • Tony

    Ya slower pace and much better defense and way better rebounding is needed.But it’s all good we are rebuilding and tanking til 2016 so it’s the plan to suck.

  • dumbtoni loves hookedonnews

    forget about hookedonnews. he seems to be everywhere every time there is a bad comment about his soul-mate. that dumbtoni must have stuffed his candy stick in his mouth and ass night in and night out.

  • Moveover Andbark

    They should have fired him near the end of last season, he injured Kobe, Pau and others by overplaying them. Let’s move on and get a coach that the players will respect and a coach that is not so massively enamored with his “7 Seconds or Less” approach…(til turnover???)…by playing at the upbeat pace, with more outside shooting, players were often out of position for offensive rebounds, and would scramble to get into position once a shot was hoisted. It just seemed to me that he never played with the strengths of the players in mind, but expected the players to adjust to his style, which was probably never clearly explained, and not possible with the player types fitting into the system requirements. The fact that offense was never an emphasis (strong emphasis) was absolutely unacceptable. At least in previous systems, players would often be facing the right way (toward the basket) and feet firmly planted….that system was methodical…The crAptoni system was hustle up the court and hoist a 3 even if off balance, just get it up. Not taking into account there was no offensive rebounding possible with the injuries and foot speed of the bigs….there was no Faried or Birdman type of player to keep up the pace and go for the >60% of missed 3 pointers or quick shots…D’Antoni has an ego writing checks that his coaching record can not cash. He has to go as soon as possible.

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