Lakers News: D’Antoni Expects Urgency From Players On Expirings

Lakers News: D’Antoni Expects Urgency From Players On Expirings


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With the season winding down, the futures of a number of Lakers players will begin to come into question. Only Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre, and Kendall Marshall are under contract for next season.

The Lakers are sure to focus on a couple of players to bring back, and others will certainly be let go. That makes these last games an audition for both the Lakers, and the rest of the league.

Mike D’Antoni spoke about the effort he expects from those players, and according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, threw in a joke about where some of these guys may end up next year:

It’s no secret that this season proved to be a redeeming one for a number of Lakers players. Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry are both former lottery picks, while Nick Young had not done much to prove he was a big time NBA player before this season.

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Guys like Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks were bench warmers while Jordan Farmar and Chris Kaman just wanted to prove they could still offer a team quality minutes.

It’s definitely an exaggeration to suggest that some of these players will be in Europe next year, but these last games will be huge in regards to where they go from here. D’Antoni is right to expect urgency, and all of these Lakers better have it.
VIDEO: Nick Young Altercation With Drew Gooden, Leads To Jordan Hill Ejection, Player Reactions

  • dparker626

    Yes, MDA is right to expect urgency. Right message, wrong messenger though. The article includes MDA lecturing about consistency. Incredible. Not easy to be consistent with MDA’s willy-nilly lineup changes. Key minutes for a few games – with production – and then a string of DNP-CDs. MDA’s right about Europe. But it’s likely to be him, coaching in Europe.

    • Daryl Peek

      WOW. People really trip on the facts. Outside of Kaman, MDA has given everyone a chance to prove themselves. Hill was getting mad PT til he ran out of gas and started stinking the joint up. Sacre is no doubt less talented than Kaman but he hustles within the framework of the offense. Let Popovich be the HC of the Lakers? He’d do the exact same thing MDA is. This is the only reason I defend him. People conveniently Taylor the argument so as MDA looks like he’s doing something other coaches wouldn’t, thus calling him incompetent when that’s far from the truth?

      Tiago Splitter and Rasho Nesterovic are the same player Sacre is, so is Aron Baynes. MDA has begun to develop Robert the same way Pop did those guys, who’d not see any PT on other teams. R. Kelly is a tick better than Matt Bonner or Steve Novak IMO. Especially defensively. Again, the development Pop is allowed MDA is criticized for? Yes Pop is a much better HC but they are very similar in player development.

      • 3339

        You think Popovich would run this team exactly the same as this moron?
        smh man. You should apologize to Popovich for saying that.

        • Daryl Peek

          Pop has already said such out of his own mouth. You should take your hater glasses off and speak the truth man. I’m talking from a player development point.

          I gave you specific players in comparison that prove my point.

          • 3339

            yeah cause you’re always right

          • Daryl Peek

            I will never say I’m always right but you rarely come back with solid points that are anything more than just inflammatory conjecture.

          • 3339


      • Will Hendershott

        I would not go so far as to call Tiago Splitter the same player as Sacre or Nesterovich or Baynes. Splitter is a lot better on the boards. Ryan KelIy’s offense is good but he is about inept as Sacre is on offense, on defense.I understand your point but why can’t MDA simply tweak his system to make it work for Kaman who, is not as explosive as he once used to be on offense and not the best defensive player, is still much better than Sacre and Kelly. I know, he wants to be able to spread the floor with Kelly but, living by the three and dying by the three has not been working MDA should tweak his style.

        • Daryl Peek

          Look up the production. Splitter and the others are no better than Sacre overall. I say Tiago is slightly better right now but that’s after several seasons in Pops system being groomed. Sacre is in essence a rookie as this is the first time he’s gotten any real pro PT, and his numbers match Splitter outside of the boards.

          Kelly is not as good of a three point shooter as Bonner or Novak but has a much better post game and can face up or score in transition. His upside dwarfs those guys and he makes them look like D-League players defensively.

          I agree on the Kaman theme. I also understand MDA’s issue with Chris as this is not the first time he’s been benched for running his mouth. Both Dallas and NO did the same thing. Kaman is often out of rhythm on the floor and that is in part due to the DNP coaches decisions but he’s very inconsistent in general. Kaman disappears in games quite often. This is another reason he lost PT in Dallas, NO and was traded from the Clippers.

          Living and dying by the three is something all teams that spread the floor do really. The difference is the rebounding focus, turnovers and defense. This is where the Lakers come up short under MDA. SMH The rebounding issue is somewhat a system problem given MDA preaches getting back to slow fast breaks, so no one attacks the offensive glass. Defensive rebounding is on the players. Too often I see a bunch of guys spectating VS. sticking their nose in there to fight for a rebound. This is clearly evident when you see us allow an offensive rebound off a missed FT. I get so HOT at that! That’s not on the coaches. I’m sure they teach players to box out. That’s purely lack of focus & effort.

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      • $99752914

        Doesn’t really matter at this point…. MDA will be fired after this year…

      • dparker626

        Um, no, Daryl, I’m not ‘tripping on the facts’ if I’m the ‘people’ you reference. His inconsistent and capricious use of players in rotations is a common criticism of MDA for two seasons now from experienced bball observers. Veteran players comment on it as well. Any one of us can arrange a few isolated examples, as you’ve done, of MDA giving someone a ‘chance’ but that is far afield of developing some semblance of consistency and chemistry that is so critical to successful basketball. This is why I, for one, found MDA prattling on about consistency ironic. Comparing MDA to Pop is specious at best. Pop has earned player respect, partially it seems because he communicates to and involves his players, whereas MDA doesn’t (according to the players).

        • Daryl Peek

          The inconsistent use of players is based off productivity or lack there of in games. Keep in mind this season started off as an audition for all except Gasol, Nash and Kobe who were all injured to start. Meeks has been the most consistent player all season and it’s reflected in his leading the team in minutes played. Gasol would be next. Blake got consistent PT before being traded. Outside of these three all others were again in the audition category thus productivity would determine their playing time.

          The mass injuries further complicated MDA’s ability to have consistent rotations. This problem plagued the team last season also just not to the 1-12 degree it has this season. The isolated examples are pertinent because of the injuries and audition theme. Howard, Gasol, Kobe and Metta all got consistent minutes last season when injures didn’t play a factor.

          Going with the Pop MDA comparison as specious due to the respect factor is disingenuous because Pop has so much tenure with the Spurs. MDA once had the same trust in Phoenix. It takes time to build that. I’ll admit MDA seemed to push the wrong buttons with Gasol, Hill and Kaman. Howard had no reason to have a problem with MDA. His coaching style is what he’s playing in now and what he’s best at as a PNR center.

          Again, Pop and any other HC would be forced to be inconsistent in rotations under all of these circumstances. Spoelstra had issues in Miami his first season as they struggled to figure out the rotations best fit for team chemistry, and injuries were not really a factor. Couple that with a much more talented team. Phil often had inconsistent guard rotations that frustrated players like Farmar, and Sasha. Farmar left the Lakers in part due to that. Remember Joe Smith? He was in the same boat as Kaman as a player who rarely got PT. Bynum was often irritated due to his lack of consistent PT when healthy. I can cite many more situations on all NBA teams like this. Again, the problems these Lakers have in this area are amplified due to the aforementioned factors out of MDA’s control for the most part.

          • dparker626

            Good points all, Daryl, however, to your first point, developing a rapport and rhythm with teammates requires time and some demonstration of faith by the HC (I know you know this). This is more likely to lead to consistency than changing lineups form game to game. Too often, it seemed, MDA would yank someone based on a single game or two lack of production. This after several games of solid production. This sort of thing contributed to my, admittedly snarky, observation of this article.

          • Daryl Peek

            I hear ya man. I’m not trying to completely absolve MDA for some of the issues but IMO most of the problems are things he nor any other HC could get a solid grip on. Many of his coaching peers echo this.

            D’Antoni’s personality does not fit Lakers Nation and that’s more of the reason for the trust issues than the actual breakdown of the teams failure this season. MDA had no chance to gain the fan base trust given the circumstances in which he was hired. Now complicate that with all of the injuries and financial constriction from grandfathered in contracts that don’t fit the new CBA structure. All of that made for the rotational mess more so than coaching indecision.

            The Dark cloud that has lingered over the Lakers franchise was in place well before MDA. It began in 10-11 as Phil was coaxed into staying another year that season coming off the 2010 championship and health problems that had him questioning his ability to handle the grind of coaching going forward. That season was much like the 89-90 season of depression as the Showtime era was ending. Riley was asked if he was done several times that year and he always said no but the playoff meltdown capped that horrid season of public finger pointing, bad team chemistry and was the nail in the coffin, as Riles bolted for NY also.

            Moral of the story is we’ve seen this before on many different levels, and gotten past it. MDA will likely not be back, and will be the head that pays the price of FO dysfunction in the changing of the guard. No blame, just bad timing, that’s all.

          • e3bonz

            DP, I noticed the last few games, the rotation looked a bit like what the Spurs do. Lots of players with different line-ups at any given time.

          • Daryl Peek

            Exactly. The main difference is we don’t have a solid tenured core like they do. The Spurs big three allows Pop to integrate other players into the mix fairly seamlessly. Their overall selfless penchant as a group makes for a much easier transition in multiple rotations also. You never hear players bickering over PT in San Antonio. Bonner may go multiple games as DNP coaches decision, if Diaw is the hot hand or Bonner is in a slump.

  • Sylvia Ross

    Hope you’re right dparker. Can’t wait for this idiot to be dismissed. Europe seems like the perfect place for him.

  • 3339

    This guy is so full of shit. The ego on him is rediculous. Has he ever said that he has a responsibility to work harder for the players? Or that perhaps he needs to make adjustments? I don’t think so.
    I’m so sick of this guy. Hope they broadcast him getting fired at the end of the year.

    • Daryl Peek

      Ridiculous mob mentality blanket statement. Everything you just said is absolute hog wash and not true. I have no problem with the not liking MDA thing personally, hell his demeanor rubs me the wrong way most of the time, and I’m not a fan of his coaching style defensively. The thing is, be truthful in your assessment. You can watch Access Sports Lake Show episodes where MDA and the coaching staff are saying they need to work harder to prep these guys, and are constantly making adjustments. We’ve seen one recently as Sacre has started next to Gasol in an effort to be better defensively. Hill started next to Gasol at times, Kelly, Williams and Johnson… wouldn’t that be adjustments? Keeping the bench in for the rest of a game when they were the hotter unit… wouldn’t that be adjustments?

      This season has completely sucked and no ones happy about it. MDA will likely get fired over it and I’m cool with that. Again, just be truthful in context.

      • 3339

        “Ridiculous mob mentality blanket statement”

        Seriously who talks like that?

        • Daryl Peek

          That’s all you got? No retort in defense of the blanket statement cheapshots? My description of your mess is on point as all you’re doing is feeding the mob mentality with hype.

          As the great Jerry West said about all of this FO jaw jacking…

          “anybody can sit back and complain when you’re on the sidelines to complain.”

          Meditate on that.

          • 3339

            dude, stop.

      • ra

        The team has ‘honestly’ had great moments that were specifically due to MDA’s style, no question. Example is the Spurs game last week. The Lakers ran them ragged, and the Spurs couldn’t keep up with them for a couple of quarters. It was also ‘exciting’ basketball, and is a principal reason for having MDA here in LA. When the Lakers shot those record 18 3 pointers — great game. MDA’s style and training.

        However, to get to a Championship level would ‘at least’ seriously require a PG like Nash. MDA’s style falls short of pushing it to a Championship title. And, I’ll go out on a limb and say that if the Lakers were operating on all cylinders, with no injuries and ‘infinite stamina’, then it ‘would have been’ great basketball (and, as close to Showtime as one could possibly get).

        I was always a D’Antoni fan (esp. in Phoenix). However, again, to get to a Championship level would be more than challenging with potential future personnel picks from the FO. The 2006 Suns team was very unique, and they (Suns) could have even gotten to the Finals if the Spurs didn’t cheat (with the NBA – the unnecessary suspensions). The 2006 Suns wasn’t stocked with bigs. Stoudemire was more a PF and offensive presence.

        If MDA leaves (as you might even be hinting at – maybe Jimmy told you personally?), who do you think should come in to coach? I was thinking Hollins? Avery Johnson? What do you think DP?

        • Daryl Peek

          I could see MDA getting a ring with the right players and a better focus on defensive rebounding. As you state, we have players that can get us to the tourney if they were healthy. Kobe and Gasol buying in would be the kicker that could get them over the hump in the finals. MDA has shown he’s willing to be flexible and Kobe and Gasol could work some two man game magic in the playoffs while this team could still run other teams to death. A healthy Nash and Farmar would do wonders for the win loss column!

          As for the next HC? I’d want a new fresh face, not a retread. Yes, we all worry how Kobe would respond to such a type but at some point Kobe has got to accept this team is building for the future and he needs to help that process and not be a hindrance by being stubborn in not wanting to accept change. Kobe is skillful enough to adapt to different play styles. Look at KG and Paul Pierce in Brooklyn, or Duncan in San Antonio? They all have accepted change in playing style and are working the new uptempo systems. Paul P. is playing stretch 4. Duncan gave Parker the reigns and he’s played a lot like Nash in the hybrid MDA system Pop runs.

          All of that said, I personally want Billy Donovan. I think he’s ripe for a possible NBA challenge again if the right team calls. I see him as a young Pat Riley type who’s great at player development. IMO, this is a new era of Lakers basketball without Dr. Buss so why not start completely fresh?

  • LakersHeatBeef

    I disagree with Mike D’Antoni about the urgency thing,these dudes are on a losing team and nothing is going right for the team.If some of the expiring guys end up in Europe oh well they at least got a chance to play in the NBA.This is over.

  • Robert Perez

    That fool also thinks the Lakers are ok with Sacre and Kelly guarding the paint…

  • vdogg

    sigh.. if only mike d’antoni himself were on an expiring.

  • Zimmeredge

    no urgency mike. you’ll always be remebered as the worst record ever. tank give us a top 5 top3 than go away. we’ll be thankful to you.

  • Cali Jeff

    Mikes the one who should be going to Europe.

  • magikwyrkz

    Yeah, let’s send his ass to Europe where he can learn how to coach.

  • Lakers4Life

    Dumbtoni should just shut his pringle mouth up and leave LA before talking to others about “expectations.” What an idiot all the way till the end of the season lol.

  • Vince Staley

    1. Don’t worry Mike, with your illogical and alienating rotations players won’t be resigning anyways. 2. Thank you for your 2 years of service, but your just not in our future plans…… shut the f–ck up and finish out the season.