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Why D’Antoni’s Offensive System Is Exacerbating The Lakers Defense Reviewed by Momizat on . The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their worst loss in franchise history Thursday night, dropping their record to 21-41, dead last in the Western Conference. Under The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their worst loss in franchise history Thursday night, dropping their record to 21-41, dead last in the Western Conference. Under Rating: 0
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Why D’Antoni’s Offensive System Is Exacerbating The Lakers Defense

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The Los Angeles Lakers suffered their worst loss in franchise history Thursday night, dropping their record to 21-41, dead last in the Western Conference. Under Mike D’Antoni’s leadership, the Lakers are well below .500, having won just 61 out of the 134 games, since D’Antoni was hired in place of Mike Brown. Certainly, the Lakers slew of injuries goes hand in hand with the Lakers record. This year alone the Lakers have missed a whopping 225 games due to injury, the most in the NBA.

But injuries aren’t to blame for losing by 48 points, and Thursday night, the Lakers insisted that they did not quit out there. Instead, Robert Sacre conceded that their offense is making it even more difficult to defend, and defense has always been this team’s Achilles heel.

With this offense, we need the ball to move around,” Sacre said after their loss to the Clippers Thursday night. “When we get tough shots or we take tough shots it makes long rebounds, long rebounds turns into transition points and quick outlets…It makes us have to get back on the defensive end quicker, and translates into fast offense for the other team.”

Though D’Antoni has reiterated game after game, that their offense is not the problem, essentially, the Lakers offense is exacerbating their weakest flaw, their defense. The Lakers have given up 1,171 points off turnovers, second only to Philadelphia. Those transition points that Sacre is talking about? The Lakers have given up 1,011 second chance points this season, 97 more than the next team in that category. On average, they’ve allowed 16.3 points per game off second chance points.

The overarching principle in D’Antoni’s system falls back on the idea that the more offensive possessions a team has, the greater the opportunity to score more points. Though true in theory, with their current roster unable to execute the offense with any consistency, their defensive lapses have magnified exponentially.

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The Lakers aren’t having any trouble gaining possessions. As a matter of fact, the Lakers are averaging 100.2 possessions per game, which happens to be the second-most in the NBA. But, that stat doesn’t say much about their offense, when the only other team averaging more possessions happens to be worse than the Lakers, the Philadelphia 76ers. For the Lakers, more possessions correlates to more turnovers, which turns into fastbreak opportunities.

After the Lakers lost to the Indiana Pacers last week, Pau Gasol told Time Warner Cable SportsNet that the team lacked discipline.

There’s just too many individual actions right now. It’s really not a good flow and rhythm out there,” Pau Gasol said candidly in his post-game interview on Time Warner Cable SportsNet

The night Steve Blake was traded, he thanked D’Antoni for giving him the freedom to succeed at his position. D’Antoni’s system does just that, it gives his players, specifically guards, freedom. That may work great on a healthy team with discipline and consistency, but the only thing D’Antoni’s system seems to be doing currently is work flawlessly for showcasing individual talents of the young guards.

Unfortunately, with the majority of Lakers players on one-year deals, it’s easy for the place-holders to take advantage of being able to showcase their individual talents. And, knowing that their future with the Lakers is short-lived, why wouldn’t they? What’s left to play for, besides their own personal pride? With an undisciplined team, this system allows players to easily stray away from fundamental team principles. In turn, the Lakers biggest weakness, their defense, becomes the centerpiece.

*All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.
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VIDEO: Mike D’Antoni, “Everybody Knows We’re Embarrassed”


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About The Author

Serena Winters is the Lead Reporter for Lakers Nation. Besides out-eating the rest of the staff, she's most known for carrying snacks with her to all media events. Make sure to follow Serena on Twitter at @SerenaWinters

Number of Entries : 691
  • hoperhetoric

    Their defense are good in the 1st quarter because of good offense that gives energy to good defense. Then when the 2nd unit came in Farmar ballhogged the ball too much with an intent to pass but w/o accomplishing anything. He is holding the ball too much, waiting to attract double teams. He is not attracting double teams enough because his dribble penetration is so slow unlike steve blake & kendall.
    Farmar passes the ball with little shot clock remaining that will result to team mates bad shots & rhythm killer! Sacre & Farmar are not commanding double teams so the clippers defense consumed the Lakers. I think farmar is still cautious of his previous injury because he looks so slow & non explosive. He cant stay infront of the opponents guards!
    You are so cute Ms Winters! <3

  • Daspin

    Rebounds are part of playing good defense something D’Antoni doesn’t believe in.

  • Lakers4life

    Great article. Offense and defense are tied together for sure. Fast paced offense provides good rhythm to your offense but also for the opponent as well. Lakers just doesn’t have the personnel to execute Dantoni’s system like it should. But it’s the coach’s responsibility to adjust to his players. Dantoni has yet showed that he can adjust well. He expects the players to play his system which many times is not to their strengths, which frustrates veterans and stars.
    In order for Kobe to command double team at his age and injury is he has to live in the post. Same with Pau.

  • LONGBEACH562

    FIRE COACH D’ANTONI HE SUCKS CANT HANDLE TO COACH LA TEAM

  • comrade24

    So if there is a bright side, and indeed, it’s not easy to find one, it would be that it seems like the FO is finally done with the D’Antoni experiment. I seriously doubt he will be the Lakers coach next season. It’s just too bad we passed on Brian Shaw in the first place. And i agree with hoperhetoric, serena is pretty cute lol

    • cyborgspider

      I think every red-blooded, heterosexual male agrees that Serena is cute, but I think she’d prefer us to compliment her writing and reporting skills. I can’t wait to see her on ESPN LA or as the official Lakers reporter one day. PS Antoni sucks lol

  • Jerard Wright

    These Lakers can win half of their games this year if they only took half as many 3 point shot attempts. Here’s the telling line in the article in which Basketball fundamental 102 is being ignored;

    “When we get tough shots or we take tough shots it makes long rebounds,
    long rebounds turns into transition points and quick outlets…It makes
    us have to get back on the defensive end quicker, and translates into
    fast offense for the other team.”

  • Lakers4Life

    I’ve said this a billion times before and I’ll say it again — can’t wait until the day following the end of season when the Lakers will get rid of that idiotic clown of a coach Dumbtoni.
    And let’s also not forget to put shame on the very few Dumbtoni lovers posting here on Lakers Nation. Congrats on cheering for the worst coach in Lakers history…my goodness!
    Lakers fans will be looking forward to this summer and the next where we will likely get some new stars and young talent, possibly along with the return of Phil Jackson for the next 2 years until Kobe’s contract expires. It would bring back the glory to LA and just so much drama if PJ, Kobe and a new talented roster bring us a few more rings along the way!!!

  • Marty Susman

    Sorry, tho high school coach is trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. This team as hard as it is for me to say should be playing the triangle offense meaning if you can’t play defense then slow the game down & give yourself a chance in the half court & not allow the other team to have the time/ability to score 130 points plus. How anyone can argue with that is beyond me.

  • ersliva

    THE LAKERS NEED TO FIRE D’ANTONI…HES A WORTHLESS TWIT AS A COACH…FURTHERMORE JIMMY NEEDS TO TAKE A BACK SEAT AND GIVE PHIL JACKSON HIS SPOT IN MANAGEMENT…JIMMY BUSS AND D’ANTONI ARE RUINING THE LAKER TRADITION AND CREATING THE WRONG KIND OF LAKER HISTORY….AS LOSERS….IF I DIDNT KNOW BETTER I WOULD THINK JIMMY BUSS DOESNT WANT TO ACTUALLY BE PART OF THE LAKERS IN FACT HE WOULD WANT TO SELL THE TEAM OUTRIGHT….SOMETHING JEANIE DOESNT WANT TO DO…..SO HES DOING HIS BEST TO UNDERMIND HIS SISTER JUST LIKE HE DID HIS BEST TO UNDERMIND PHIL WHEN HE WAS THE COACH….HIS TRACK RECORD AT RUNNING TEAMS ARE EXTREMELY BAD….TEAMS HIS DAD BOUGHT HIM TO RUN IN OTHER SPORTS ALL WENT BELLY UP JUST LIKE THE LAKERS ARE DOING UNDER A COACH WHO ADDMITTEDLY STATED THAT OUT OF ALL TEAM HE HATES THE MOST ARE THE LAKERS AND WOULD LOVE TO SEE THERE TRADITION OF WINNING COMPLETELY DESTROYED….SOMETHING HES DOING RIGHT NOW FIRST HAND…

  • Marty Susman

    Not sure where this reporter gets her facts, “THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS DEFENSE… MAYBE SHE IS WATCHING ANOTHER TEAM… The Lakers need to play half court & not allow the opposing teams to even have the time to score hundreds of points game after game. Not sure where or who taught her about basketball but when teams destroy you with over a 100 plus points a a game someone needs to tell the team/coach to “SLOW THE HELL DOWN” HELLOOOOOOO.

  • hookedonnews

    The problem with this team is the roster. D’Antoni’s Suns didn’t allow 130 points a game. We just don’t have the players right now. We have no leadership on the court without Nash, Blake, or Kobe. That makes a difference. These losses are tough to watch, but not a surprise. The addition of Bazemore & Brooks & the loss of Blake has been a two-edged sword. They have added more scoring, but they have also disrupted the chemistry of the team. There is not the ball movement that was there earlier in the season. There are also a lot of bad shots being taken which plays into Sacre’s comment about “tough shots.” The idea is to take open shots, not any shot you can jack up there. Right now it’s all about working with the younger players to see who’s going to be back next season and who isn’t. It’s necessary, but it’s hard on fans who have to watch it. The only silver lining is the high draft pick that’s going to come out of it.

  • Kay Carter

    We need to just fire him already

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