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Mike D’Antoni Wants Lakers to Be Top 10 Defensive Team Reviewed by Momizat on . The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to stay competitive in the Western Conference where even a .500 record could have you sitting near the bottom of the standings The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to stay competitive in the Western Conference where even a .500 record could have you sitting near the bottom of the standings Rating: 0
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Mike D’Antoni Wants Lakers to Be Top 10 Defensive Team

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Mike D'Antoni 9The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to stay competitive in the Western Conference where even a .500 record could have you sitting near the bottom of the standings. The West is stacked from top to bottom and the Lakers will have to work very hard to sneak into the post season.

As of right now, the team has not been very good on the defensive end and, are currently ranked 29th in the league in terms of opponent points per game. The Lakers allow an average of 103.4 points per game and the only team that allows for more is the Philadelphia 76ers at 111.2 a game.

Mike D’Antoni spoke to the Los Angeles Times and he said he would like to see his team eventually develop into a top ten defensive team.

While the Lakers worked their way through four road games in five nights, Coach Mike D’Antoni said he wanted them to become a top-10 team defensively.

Surprisingly, he wasn’t laughing when he said it. Maybe the lack of humor was the funny part.

D’Antoni was never known for his defensive strategies and he has always been criticized for not paying much attention to that side of the court. If the Lakers can live up to D’Antoni’s expectations that would be great, but there is small chance the Lakers can find the defensive success of the Chicago Bulls or the Indiana Pacers.

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About The Author

Ramneet is a senior writer for Lakers Nation and has been contributing his thoughts on the Lakers and the NBA since 2010. Follow Ramneet on Twitter @Ramneet24.

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  • Josh

    Before the hating starts, let me just remind/inform us all that D’Antoni’s teams have always been right around the middle of the league in defensive efficiency–right now they are 21st and have looked pretty good over the last 10 games or so. It’s not that that big a stretch to ask a team stacked with young wing players with Kurt Rambis as an assistant coach to improve from 21st to top 10, especially as they bring back key players like Kobe, Farmar, and Blake.

  • Gregory Choa

    I think it’s a fallacy that Mike D’Antoni doesn’t care about defense. I’m always hearing him talk about defense, both in game and post game – I think he cares a lot about defense. Either you have players that are instinctually great, natural defenders, or you don’t. By in large, I don’t think Mike D’Antoni’s teams have been blessed with particularly skilled defenders and, in the absence of that, it comes down to team defense, which is principally about communication and hustling back in transition…which is hard to do if you’re general missing a lot of shots and not a particularly good offensive rebounding team.

    In spite of the advanced age of its superstar core (Nash, Kobe & Pau), the Lakers are a pretty youthful and energetic team. There are also a group of guys who I believe genuinely like each other and are inclined to help each other out. This forms the basis of what can be a much better than average defensive team. No, they don’t have a preeminent rim protector and, no, they don’t have a lock-down perimeter defender…but that’s not necessarily D’Antoni’s fault. That said, I do like what I’m beginning to see defensively on those notes from Sacre and from Wes Johnson.

  • HATORADE

    Delusional posters on Lakers Nation.D’Antoni is a all time worst defensive coach.

    • Daryl Peek

      Prove it, and ring status is not a proof.

      • 3339

        watch his teams play

        • Daryl Peek

          I need tangible proof not a biased untrained eye test

    • hookedonnews

      I’m sure you’re aware that the Lakers had a defensive assistant last season, and that D’Antoni asked for Kurt Rambis to be brought in to work with the defense this season. Defense is not rocket science, but you have to have good defensive players. You also need consistent effort and energy and communication on the court. It is ultimately up to the players to do the job. I don’t think you have any statistics to back up your claim. The D’Antoni Suns were such a scoring machine they didn’t worry that much about defense. It was all about pace, and it worked pretty well. That doesn’t mean that he’s going to use that same philosophy with a team that obviously doesn’t have the tools to score like those teams. He’s made it clear that defense is a priority since he’s been in LA.

    • Dragon7s

      Your name. It suits you.

  • Daryl Peek

    Long hill to climb. The Lakers are currently the 2nd worst defensive team in the NBA. It would take 30 games of holding teams under around 98 points a game to make a significant move towards the top ten. Better offensive efficiency coupled with winning the rebound battle will better effect the wins in the win loss column IMO. The team is barely scoring 100 points a game.

    Good defense is not necessarily a top ten theme. The Showtime Lakers played good D but gave up 109 points a game. Offensive pace was the difference. They wee scoring at a 115 points per game clip. Fix the rebounds and run the D’antoni system offensively the team will be fine.

    • Paytc

      I think when the Lakers start winning all the critics claiming lack of defense will start to fade a bit. I am the type that believes you must play well on both sides of the ball. I know there are games at times that come down to who is gonna be better at offense…. and other games that demand you bring out the best you have on defense. There are multiple ways to win.
      The circumstances you find yourselves in dictates the action that’s best needed on that day and time.

      You need offense and defense. But winning whatever way your doing it trumps all speculative so call rational theory. Just get the win’s.

      Go Lakers !

    • Zimmeredge

      the question is how is possible to be a top ten defensive team when you’re conceeding the majority of your point inside. way to easy to score against us.

      • Daryl Peek

        That correlates directly with the rebounding mentality. Players that are hustling to dominate the boards are putting in the work in the paint. Effort is the key. Protecting the paint is an attitude also. Sometimes you got to eat a foul call and lay someone on they ass to send a clear message this is our space!

        Pau has been problematic in this area. He was looked at as the team leader and his troops were following his lead. A Pau that’s not pouting and is more aggressive will lead the paint protection charge… Hill is a hustle player but he still follows Pau’s lead. Same goes for Kaman & Sacre.

        • Zimmeredge

          defense is a mentality. you can have the best system if you don’t put the heart and the killer instinct it’s useless. you have to play hard, be ready to take a charge and yeah big foul to send a message. Communication and vocal leadership is also very important and that’s why…

          …Pau is not our defensive anchor at the moment because defense his not his priority. I don’t want to rub the salt into the wound but if it was his priority then he wouldn’t be asking for his offensive touches to play hard. He is not leading by attitude nor example. He is the most important part in our team on both ends but he’s not up to the task.

          • hookedonnews

            What’s needed is someone like Tyson Chandler in the paint. Just because you’re 7 feet tall doesn’t mean you’re a defensive stopper at the rim. This team can play defense at times, but they’re not consistent. It’s all about energy and commitment on the defensive end. That’s the key, but you still need that big man in the paint to protect the rim. Pau isn’t that guy most of the time.

          • Zimmeredge

            the best defensive big man on D are not the one who are “statistically present”. It’s a plus. no imo the best bigs are those who are good vocal leader. this way you have a good defensive effort.
            Mutombo was an outstanding defender but his shotblocking prowess shows one thing: people went to the rim too easily.
            Chandler is a vocal leader and he leads by example. he has never been a shotblocking monster but the knicks are so bad on D he’s now averaging 2+bpg… unbelievable. I guess he can do better with us because we are way more active on the outside (opponents are 34% from three).
            I agree Pau is not doing delivering this to us.

          • GM Jack

            Just like scoring points, defense is a skill set that you learn early in your career, hi school, college, either you develop it then, or you don’t have it.. you can not teach it late in the career.

            If you go to zone, that does not work in the NBA, players are too quick.

          • GM Jack

            Two best defensive teams I have seen in the last 20 years were the Rodman’s Pistons, and Rodman’s Bulls.

            You have to have a guy like that…

            Granted both of those teams were loaded with palyers that were not afraid to lay down for life to protect the rim….that we do not have..

          • Zimmeredge

            you just proove my point. Dennis Rodman was an amazing defender. Awesome hustle player. amazing rebounder.
            Pat Riley once told that by winning the boards you win titles…. he was absolutely right.
            But look at Rodman’s statistics he was not an amazing shot blocker (below 1bpg). you don’t have to be an amazing shotblocker to be an amazing rim protector. that’s my point. ;)
            rim protection is not only about shot blocking. and good 1vs1 defense is not only about iindividual defensive skills. it’s about communication. of course you have to have the grit, the energy, the tenacity. of course it’s a spirit but if you are not talking to the people around.
            it was a shocker for most people when Marc Gasol was elected DPOY last season (and same for Chandler the season before his stats were a joke). Statistically speaking he is not legit (look at his numbers: 5drpg, 1spg, 1,8bpg) compared to let’s say Ibaka, Jordan, Hibbert (most efficient team on d) or Howard who are amazing rebounders and shot blockers. But when you see the guy play…. his communication, his defensive rotation i mean everything, his help defense, or on pnr sequences he is just unbelievable.
            get my point?

        • Josh

          The reason they give up so many points in the paint is because they give up too many transition baskets. The offense is based on finding shots quickly and pushing the pace of the game, which leads to lots of turnovers and long rebounds off missed jump shots. Both of those give up points at the other end before the defense gets set. The team has actually been pretty good in the half-court when they get back on defense.

  • 3339

    when Jim Jackson first played with dantonis suns teams, he tried to stop a fast break but dantoni criticized him and told him to just let the guy score to keep the pace going. I mean seriously he isn’t a good defensive coach. Eventually the Lakers will realize they need someone else.

    • hookedonnews

      That was 10 years ago. Time to stop repeating that quote. That is obviously not the philosophy that is being pushed with this team. They aren’t capable of the offensive efficiency of the 2004-6 Suns. Steve Clifford was the defensive coach last season, and Kurt Rambis is the defensive specialist this year. So if you have a complaint, you might want to put some of the blame there. I think the majority of it is on the players because as I’ve said before, it’s not rocket science.

  • hookedonnews

    D’Antoni has repeatedly stressed the importance of defense since arriving in LA, and yet people still say he cares nothing about defense, etc. I have heard assistant coaches say that he does have a good defensive scheme. The Lakers had a good defensive assistant last season (Steve Clifford), and they have Kurt Rambis this season. There’s more to defense than coaching. The Lakers proved last season and this season that they can play good defense when they put some effort into it. Eliminating turnovers on offense that turn into run-outs on the other end also help the defense, and bringing in good defensive players is also helpful. Maybe one of these days people will realize that MDA cares about defense, but I doubt it.

  • Lakers4Life

    No worries, Dumbtoni can talk all he wants about “defense” in his dreams, but he’s too stuck up in his old arse for it to ever come true. He’ll be gone soon!

  • GM Jack

    Good move. Put Kaman in the mix. He can pull rebounds. He would be the 8 points 12 rebounds guy….

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