Mike D'Antoni Discussion: RESIGNS AS LAKERS COACH (184)

Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby dwighthowardsdad on Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:19 pm

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- When Mike D'Antoni took over as the Los Angeles Lakers' coach, he vowed to return the team to its "Showtime" roots with a high-scoring brand of basketball.

"I told the team if we're not averaging 110 to 115 points a game, we need to talk," D'Antoni said at his introductory news conference in November 2012. "That's our goal. It should be easily done."

A season later, he is pumping the brakes on his team's expected pace.

After averaging 102.2 points per game last season, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni wants a little bit more.
"I was on drugs back then," D'Antoni said with a laugh after practice Monday, recalling how he was still on pain medication following reconstructive knee surgery at the time. "My knee was hurting. Vicodin was killing me."

Not that D'Antoni is planning on slowing his team completely. He just wants to adjust the expectation for a team that still managed to be tied for sixth in the league in average scoring at 102.2 points per game.

"It will be up," D'Antoni said of the pace. "It won't be crazy, but we want to push it. It will be a nice pace. We want to get some easy buckets before the defense sets up. So we'll be up in the top five in pace, that's normal, but it won't be breakneck speed. It will be good enough where everybody can catch up. We were third last year so it will be more or less like last year."

The tempo of play that the Lakers settled into in the second half of last season certainly worked. They finished 28-12 in their final 40 games.

"We had a good pace, and it was the right pace," D'Antoni said. "Not too fast, not too slow. The biggest thing is we closed out games last year with good defense and guys getting the ball in the right spots. So we'll do that. We'll try to do that this year."

Steve Nash, who teamed with D'Antoni in Phoenix to run the coach's up-tempo style at peak efficiency, said that last season's Lakers weren't an accurate reflection of a D'Antoni team.

"We never really played Mike's offense last year," Nash said. "I think we had a pretty high talent level and were able to find ways to win games, but we never really found an identity, especially with Mike's offense, in my opinion."

L.A. has averaged 92 points per game through its first six preseason games, while giving up 99.8 points per game to their opponents. They have attempted 82.8 shots per game in those exhibition games, slightly ahead of the 80.9 shots per game they averaged last year during the regular season.

Of course, the Lakers' personnel has had something to do with that. Dwight Howard is now on the Houston Rockets. Kobe Bryant has yet to play a game as he continues to rehabilitate his Achilles, and the Lakers have loaded up their lineup with young, athletic players such as Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Farmar.

"I think we have to utilize their speed and their athleticism but not too much," Pau Gasol said. "Not too much faster than we did last year, because I think we still have to play somewhat of a controlled pace and a pace that everybody is comfortable with and go from there."

D'Antoni said he plans to play Johnson extended minutes in the frontcourt in the Lakers' preseason game against the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. Chris Kaman had been starting alongside Gasol while Johnson was nursing a left foot injury, but Kaman is listed as doubtful for the Utah game after missing L.A.'s past two practices because of gastroenteritis.

"It's going to give us a look [at Johnson]," D'Antoni said before classifying the four-year veteran as a "quick 4" rather than a more traditional stretch 4 in his system.

Nash was asked if D'Antoni learned anything from his initial scoring goals for the team last season.

"I think he learned that it wasn't the personnel, maybe we didn't have the makeup for that type of play," Nash said. "We didn't have maybe the shooting or athleticism last year."

As for this year?

"There's a pace and it's a continual pace," Nash said. "It doesn't have to be a thing of great speed, but just of a continual pace and more quick decisions and quick thoughts."
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Lakerjones on Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:47 pm

Can't believe this guy is still our coach. A real inspired hire.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby dwighthowardsdad on Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:56 pm

^LOL. That made me laugh...I'm not fond of the idea of playing Wesley at the 4 as well; matter of fact, Utah has some talented bigs; at least he's experimenting with it now and not the regular season; if it's a disaster, Wesley's role will be the SF exclusively, at lease I hope.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby TIME on Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:57 pm


"It's going to give us a look [at Johnson]," D'Antoni said before classifying the four-year veteran as a "quick 4" rather than a more traditional stretch 4 in his system.



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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Weezy on Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:47 pm

'Antoni is an idiot. I can't stand his self deprecating humor, and jokes like "I was on drugs" about his gameplan for last season. If you're going to have ridiculous expectations for your team that you proclaim to the press, at least stand by them looking back so that I don't think what you're selling the team on currently won't be laughed off as drug influenced idiocy a year from now.

Also really looking forward to a lot of Wes at the 4, it will be a blast to see him unfairly asked to guard Utah's taller and stronger, skilled bigs. :man11: He's not a ****ing 4, stretch, quick, or otherwise, I wish this clown would stop trying to make things fit that don't. For all we know that's what messed up what little game Jordan Hill had, giving him the assignment of becoming a stretch 4, he seems to have little identity as a player right now.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Juronimo on Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:50 pm

:bang:
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Snakell Beast on Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:19 pm

In the words of Gary Vitti's brother Paul, "I gotta tell ya, I'm not too thrilled with the level of service up to this point!" :man5: Marcus Landry will make the team and Elias Harris won't. BOOK IT :disagree: Sean Williams will get minutes at the 5. Nash and Blake will get significant minutes as the starting back court. 8 players will be the normal rotation pattern...even less in tight games. The man simply doesn't learn or adapt. :boxing1: :mad1: :bang:
The End is nigh. Time for a total Cut and Shuffle. Kobe contract was a mistake...time to avoid making more. The future is here, whether we want it to be or not. An era is over, but for the death rattle, and it's time for the cycle to begin anew. Growth and change are scary and painful, but alas...nothing worth achieving comes easily.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Doc Brown on Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:56 pm

Don't forget Henry will either get cut or sit on the pine, while Meeks trots out there for the whole world to see how bad he is.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby charvin on Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:07 pm

We're going with Quick 4 now. A new trend has started, he wants everyone out of the paint and a stretch 5 :man1: Just kidding...
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Center Court on Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:38 pm

Doc Brown wrote:Don't forget Henry will either get cut or sit on the pine, while Meeks trots out there for the whole world to see how bad he is.


he's seeing a lot of PT now so I don't see why all of a sudden he'll fall out of rotation. But I do agree, Meeks needs to go and will see more time than deserved.

The roster is beyond weak, but his coaching exploits our problems even more. I sincerely hope this is the last season we ever see MDA in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, the former Laker legends are turning Miami and GS into what made the Lakers great.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby LooN3y on Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:39 am

Doc Brown wrote:Don't forget Henry will either get cut or sit on the pine, while Meeks trots out there for the whole world to see how bad he is.



Goudlocke, Morris ?
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby wcsoldier81 on Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:36 am

From so much LENGTH to QUICKNESS ...

We should be fine as long as we eliminate the stressed free turnovers and give up easy two without fouling to not slow the pace of the game down
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Doc Brown on Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:55 am

An otherwise unthinkable comment popped into Mike D’Antoni’s head as he saw his youthful and energetic reserves stage a comeback in an initially dreadful preseason game.

“Maybe I should start my bench,” D’Antoni said.

Sorry Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson and Jordan Hill. Those reserves might have each logged double-digit minutes and combined for 59 points in the Lakers’ 108-94 preseason win Tuesday over the Utah Jazz at Staples Center. But D’Antoni isn’t actually serious.

Yet, with Kobe Bryant still healing his left Achilles tendon and Steve Nash staying limited both for fatigue and health reasons, D’Antoni sounds open toward fielding a 10-man rotation. Such a move would give the Lakers added depth after D’Antoni mostly played eight players last season so the team’s top-heavy lineup could scrape into the playoffs.

“Unless somebody grabs it, that could happen,” D’Antoni said about fielding a 10-man rotation. “We’ll keep monitoring things. There’s a lot of guys that deserve to play. But one thing I don’t want to do is meander around all over the place.”

With Nash, Pau Gasol and Nick Young only assured of starting spots, the possibilities appear limitless.

Chris Kaman could start again at power forward after battling a stomach virus that kept him out of the past two practices and Tuesday’s game. Or the nod could go to Shawne Williams for his outside shooting, Hill for his energy or Johnson for his athleticism. The Lakers could start Steve Blake at shooting guard because of his past experience, Meeks for his outside shooting, or Farmar for his speed. D’Antoni also suggested training camp invitee Xavier Henry will play regularly.

“We’re all very supportive of each other,” Farmar said. “When someone is rolling, everybody is happy for them. It’s a lot of positive energy all the time. I think it will go a long way. Everybody will have their chance to contribute and be successful knowing it helps you be easy with everybody else playing when you’re not.”

The Lakers have one preseason game left — Friday against Utah at Honda Center — before their regular-season opener Tuesday against the Clippers at Staples Center. They will soon discover if they can consistently provide a strong bench.

“I’m actually curious to see and find out if that’s going to be the case,” Gasol said. “We have to keep our intensity and energy level up throughout the game. You do that by rotating guys.”

HEALING PROCESS



From this preseason....

Farmar/Henry/Johnson/Williams/Pau/Kaman/Hill/Young should get the bulk of the minutes.

Nash gives what he can

Blake and Meeks should be battling for minutes because both have looked like s***. Blake more than Meeks surprisingly.

When Kobe comes back, Blake or Meeks, whoever is playing worse at that point goes to the bench permanently.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Lakerjones on Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:55 am

^^ Agreed all the way, Doc.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby therealdeal on Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:57 am

Definitely seems that way to me.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Toklat on Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:14 pm

I want to state I believe MD and staff are doing a great job so far.... So many people being much more optimistic than when preseason began shows something good is going on. Nobody gets a free ride but the more positive energy we have the better. Lakers are it.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby jlkr on Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:09 pm

Well one has to admit this preseason has gone better than the last one even without Kobe. Some of that is the absences of Potato Head and Big Baby. Some of that is MDA himself. And some of that is the overall attitude of the team: they are in a better place mentally. Of course we'll see how long that lasts in the crucible of real games. Hopefully the team can remain at least middle of the pack competitive while waiting for Kobe to come back.

I didn't like the hiring that much but I've been willing to give MDA the benefit of the doubt, to let him have a full training camp and go from there. He's different from Phil, that is for sure, but it has to be remembered that the NBA has moved closer to his style than I thought would happen.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby karacha on Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:45 pm

I'll give MDA some credit here. He got better pieces to run his system and the team is at least more fun to watch. Ironically, his guy Nash is kind of.... slowing us down right now. Which is a pity, because Nash is a great guy. And the same thing goes for Pau. But that's alright for this year.

Aside for some, ehhh... interesting experiments in the preseason I thought that coach Mike really looked like he knew what he was doing. Obviously, he likes Henry and is willing to give him some minutes at the 2/3, which is great. I still don't get the "quick 4" assignment for Wes (and playing Meeks in general), but then... MDA is an NBA coach and I'm not. Maybe he sees something interesting here that escapes me. For all it's worth, MDA >>> Brown.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby LakersN4 on Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:26 pm

This season & beyond will determine if D'antoni was a good hire.. Now he has the right pieces in place to play the way he wants.. The team seemingly has great chemistry & the only real disappointments of the preseason have been Nash & Pau being limited more than we thought & Blake being terrible.. Meeks has been playing decent but it's fools gold imo.. He needs to go.. If they bring Shannon in & get rid of Meeks the team fits the coaching style even better.. I questioned his decision to play Kaman & Pau together & they ended up fitting great & making the team fun to watch with some amazing passing. I questioned if Williams was just a fluke for D'antoni before but he's showing that he knows how to utilize him very well & Williams defense has been a pleasant surprise aswell.. Who would think I'd be saying that about a guy that D'antoni lobbied for? I questioned his decision to play Wes at the 4 & once again got proven wrong.. All of this is a very small sample size in preseason at that but it looks like D'antoni is going to get to actually coach the team this season instead of catering to egos.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby dwighthowardsdad on Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:58 pm

With the exception of Kobe Bryant (Achilles), the Lakers expect to have a full roster of players available on Tuesday when the regular season begins.

The only other player not available in Friday’s preseason finale, Chris Kaman, returned to practice on Sunday after missing nearly a week-and-a-half because of gastroenteritis.

“I feel good,” he said. “My first practice in nine days, but I feel good. I was winded today but a couple more days and I’ll be good to go, so I’m not really worried about (my conditioning).”

With Kaman absent from the lineup in the team’s final two preseason games, coach Mike D’Antoni started Shawne Williams at the four alongside Pau Gasol, and used Wesley Johnson off the bench to play the stretch four position. The coach, though, chose to remain mum when asked about the starting lineup for the season opener.

“I’m not ready to make that announcement yet,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll see how everybody feels on Tuesday. We can go all kinds of different ways. We have a lot of good players and some have put their nose out further than the others. We could play guys in different combos that in the first month or so we can experiment a bit.”


Mixing various lineup units is something the coaching staff tested during the preseason, as the Lakers put out four different starting lineups in eight games. Even so, D’Antoni was pleased with how the team was able to pick up on what they want to run on offense and defense.

“The players have done everything we’ve asked as a coaching staff and more,” he said. “The ball movement, spacing and how we want to play generally, they’ve done a good job. Each week it goes by, I think they’ll (run) it smoother and get a little bit better at it, not think as much and not react to things.”

D’Antoni remains optimistic that this current crop of players can be good, based on chemistry and an
understanding of each other. “Everybody knows what their role needs to be, and they’re comfortable with that role,” he said. “That’s the makings of a good team.”


With the season opener just two days away, and a slate of three games in four nights to begin the 2013-14 campaign, Gasol maintains the team is up to the task.

“We have a tough start – pretty demanding in a short period of time to start off,” he said. “It’ll be a good test to see how we can deliver. It’s going to be a challenge and we have to take it one game at a time, starting with the Clippers and trying to defend our home court.”
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Weezy on Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:58 pm

This isn't football with injury reports, or playoff baseball lineup shuffling, it's an NBA starting lineup. There's no strategy, the other team gets no advantage if they learn what it is today, or at tipoff. Just announce who is freaking starting you clown.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Helljumper on Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:23 pm

Weezy wrote:This isn't football with injury reports, or playoff baseball lineup shuffling, it's an NBA starting lineup. There's no strategy, the other team gets no advantage if they learn what it is today, or at tipoff. Just announce who is freaking starting you clown.


:man3: There's no strategy in NBA starting line-ups? I hope you're just jokingly being impatient as opposed to actually believing in that.

The longer D'antoni waits until Tuesday to announce the starters, the less time Rivers has to gameplan against it. And since we can go in a number of different ways (stretch four in Williams, hustle guy in Hill, or finesse offensive post player in Kaman), it actually will make a difference. Plus, D'antoni might want a couple of days to review some pre-season tapes and evaluate our player's current health (for example, why announce Kaman as the starter right now if it turns out he's a little rusty from the gastroenteritis that has kept him out the past few games?)
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Weezy on Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:50 pm

I'm half joking because I don't like 'Antoni, I don't truly care that much, I just enjoy making fun of the clown. But no, there's no gameplan, whether it's Williams or Kaman starting they still start Griffin. This is the NBA, you start your best players, the only strategy is possibly going small to match our bench.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby Center Court on Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:23 pm

Weezy wrote:I'm half joking because I don't like 'Antoni, I don't truly care that much, I just enjoy making fun of the clown. But no, there's no gameplan, whether it's Williams or Kaman starting they still start Griffin. This is the NBA, you start your best players, the only strategy is possibly going small to match our bench.


I think the point is very subtly stated in Antoni's words.. " good players". Outside Pau, Nick, and Nash, I don't see any players that are a must in the starting 5. Once Kobe is back he's obviously in but I think this team can really go in a few different directions.

Personally, I'm not sure how I'd run things. I like Pau and Kaman together to give us some size and maybe a more slower, methodical starting 5 then let the bench come in and turn it up.

Kaman/Hill
Pau/Williams/Johnson
Young/Johnson/X
X/Blake/Meeks
Nash/Farmar/Blake

that's sort of the rotation I'd like to see. Don't know how the mins play out but I think that gives is the most complete rotations. The one change could be Williams into the starting 5 and then coming off the bench with Hill and Kaman in the front court.
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Re: Mike D'Antoni Discussion: Rambo! (130)

Postby wcsoldier81 on Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:15 am

I fear the 1st unit is going to be blown out whoever starts at the 4 ... I guess we can still expect a lackluster performance from the Floppers starting 5 since they have 2 new starters ... the high PNR with Paul might be enough to put the game away though
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