On Thursday the Lakers introduced their newest head coach Mike D’Antoni. While the debate continues to rage on as to whether or not that was the right choice, the players seem to be on board. When Mike Brown was introduced as head coach, the only player that showed up was Matt Barnes. On Thursday it was quite opposite.
D’Antoni has said that he’d like to bring Showtime 2.0 back to the Lakers, he even mentioned reaching out to Magic Johnson, who was quite critical of his hiring, for insight. The plan is for the Lakers to score between 110 – 115 ppg. Pacing is key. And while he has no expectation of the team being as fast at the Suns were when Steve Nash led them, D’Antoni believes the Lakers have enough offensive power to make that happen.
“If you’ve got the best team, why wouldn’t you play the most possessions that you can play, if you’re the best defensively and offensively?” asked D’Antoni. “Any time the possessions are cut down, then a bad call, missed shot, you’ve got a chance to lose. We keep the possessions up, to me statistically we’ve got a lot better chance to win when we’re playing a lot of reps. That’s the way we’re going to try to go.”
Oh, and about those defensive concerns. D’Antoni says he realizes a lot of people have removed the “D” from his name but feels with Dwight Howard in the mix he’s quite sure he’ll be able to take back possession of it. See he’s funny too. Has a sense of humor. It’s important to be charismatic as the head coach of the Lakers.
As for Pau Gasol, whom everyone assumed would be the odd man out in D’Antoni’s offensive scheme – or posted up on the wing shooting threes which isn’t exactly ideal – Mike has a plan for him too:
“We’ll try to open it up a little bit more for him. We’ll try to move him around and get him comfortable.”
D’Antoni doesn’t expect to be on the bench coaching until Sunday’s game but I think there’s a new excitement with the team.
We all know what type of coach D’Antoni is but what type of player was he back when he was playing for Olimpia Milano? Check out this mix via Ball is life