Rosen: Why the Lakers are Failing Under Mike D’Antoni

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What hath Jimmy Buss wrought?  A totally dysfunctional on-court situation.

The Los Angeles Lakers go into New York tonight as the NBA’s greatest mystery.

Why?

For starters, Mike D’Antoni’s habitual game plan calls for a full-speed-ahead offense. (Remember Seven Seconds to Shoot?) And during his nine-and-change seasons coaching in the NBA, D’Antoni has never demonstrated the inclination nor the ability to play the kind of station-to-station basketball that best suits his current team.

The sad truth is that Metta World Peace, Antawn Jamison and Dwight Howard are basically plodders. Even worse, MWP has lost at least one step in his lateral movement, which seriously compromises his used-to-be stopper-defense.  AJ is not only lead-footed but (to be charitable) extremely undependable.

Worse still, Howard has been listless and mostly uninvolved on offense. And, of course, Howard’s performance at the stripe qualifies him to join the bricklayers’ union.  Yes, he still can rebound like he’s a starving wolf and the ball is a lamb chop, but on-and off-court he remains Howard a perpetual adolescent.  Pouting when he doesn’t get the ball. Playing with short-arms when a game is up for grabs. Constantly out of position on defense. That’s why he is now, always has been a loser.  The Lakers are hoping and praying that Howard comes of age during his tenure in Los Angeles and becomes the game-changer that he was presumably supposed to be.

Fat chance.

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Comments

  1. I never liked the DH signing, he does seem immature and not really driven enough to lead a team to a championship, but who knows, that may change, as LeBron did. Also, DH is still recovering from injury and that must be factored in his performance, which is sub par for him.
    But essentially Rosen is correct – the starting four when healthy can be great, but there isn’t much in the cupboard beyond that, and Md’s style will not maximize the potential of this group, which is a shame.Given the makeup of this team, MD’s hiring is indeed perplexing.
    The real shame though is wasting Kobe final years – he’ll never get that 6th championship.

  2. Coach D was brought in to coach the Nash Lakers and we haven’t seen that yet. Everyone needs to reserve judgement until that happens.

    • Nash will only play 30 minutes a game. He can’t play defense – unlike the players that takes over when he sits. The Lakers are not a run and gun team. They have no shooters – like Nash had in Phoenix.

      No. D’Antoni is completely wrong as a coach for the Lakers.

      Under Phil Jackson, Steve Nash would be a facilitator and a sharp-shooter like Steve Kerr was for 3 Chicago Championships. The Triangle would be the best offense for these Lakers – given their dual-centers, age, lack of speed. Phil won 11 championships with it.

  3. Famed career Phil friend and advocate postulates Phil or death to Lakes. May actually be true. But, where is the credibility? Reading Rosen is like watching foxnews or msnbc – - just toxic op-ed in the rarified name of news, unvarnished.

  4. No kidding about Jamison. I couldn’t believe the garbage I was reading in the LA Times and hearing from the media after he signed. I saw literally every game he played with Cleveland since he first got to Cleveland in February 2010, and he’s terrible. One of the most selfish players you’ll ever find on both sides of the ball. Didn’t even bother to try to rotate or help on defense, couldn’t care less.

    The problem is the media adores him, even though it turns out he’s a total sleazeball in his private life. Google him, you’ll find sportswriters, including team beat writers, just non-stop fawning over Jamison. The Dallas media and Cleveland’s media were the two biggest culprits, nauseating stuff. It’s why the sports media can never be trusted to give unbiased reporting about anything, they’re in bed with the people they cover. In Mary Schmitt Boyer’s case, a terrible beat reporter for Cleveland’s Plain Dealer, her homering, shilling and fawning was so outrageous, I think she wanted to get in bed with him literally.

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