After the sacking of Mike Brown many Los Angeles Lakers fans had their heart set on Phil Jackson taking over the reins, before eventually having to settle with Mike D’Antoni.
The former New York Knicks coach completed his first training session yesterday but has said he will not be at tonight’s game with the Phoenix Suns stating he will be present for Sunday’s game with the Houston Rockets.
As a Laker fan I feel in the minority in agreeing with Mitch Kupchak’s decision to appoint D’Antoni over Jackson.
Jackson has been a great servant to the Lakers over the years securing championships for the franchise, however this doesn’t mean that success would have followed this time around.
In his contract it was believed that he would only travel to selected games away from the Staples Center, if this is true he wouldn’t be much help, he would only be used on a part time basis.
What was so attracting for the Lakers, aside from his undoubted success was the fact that he was used to the Lakers, knew the players and knew what success in Los Angeles is all about.
D’Antoni on the other hand has not had the success but is certainly familiar with the players, from his time at Phoenix he knows the inside outs of Steve Nash, the like of Kobe Bryant from his time as part of Team USA coaching team.
This is not going to be an article looking at the faults of Jackson, because quite frankly that would be very hard, instead it explores why D’Antoni will become a good fit for the Lakers.
Where the side has struggled so early in the season and the off-season is offensively. Apart from Kobe who is the leagues top scorer, points in the paint have been hard to come by as the likes of Pau Gasol have so far not lit the stat sheets up.
The highly criticized ‘Princeton’ offense has been dropped with D’Antoni seemingly letting the offense do what comes naturally.
When Nash is fit he will come back in at point, a faster game will develop, in turn Kobe will get the chance to carry on shooting, and Pau and Dwight Howard can start getting the points recorded.
Without going into the defensive frailties of D’Antoni his game could be exactly what the Lakers need and Kobe and co can flourish with their coach’s love for the three point shot.
With so much of the season to go what needs to happen is forget about the start and only focus on the future. With the talent on hand for D’Antoni it would be hard to write off the teams championship ambitions.