Doc Brown wrote:
Funny...not really true IMHO. Mike Brown's preferred style of play COULD HAVE worked out, if he knew how to utilize his bench and not overplay the starters and over-complicate the Xs and Os and micromanage seasoned veterans. I supported him because I liked the job he did last year for the most part...again his sub patterns and overly lengthy practices, as well as not utilizing the full roster and micro-managing, were nagging issues last year too.
I believed that with a better roster, Potato head would figure out that getting out of the players way, and playing through the post, was our best bet. Instead, he chose to implement an offensive system that doesn't fit our new PG, and then got Pau and Dwight out to the free throw line extended setting screens and over-thinking...
Firing Mike Brown was DEFINITELY the right thing to do. Afterward, I (like everyone in LA and anyone who knows anything about the roster and basketball) wanted Phil and was devastated when he was passed over and furious about how he was treated. I was a good soldier, and an optimist, so I supported 'Antoni because I believed that he would adjust his system to the roster, and play a more post oriented style, since we are clearly built for that.
BOY was I wrong. Not only has he tried to force his system and pace (as well as jacking up too many 3s...we shot 37 against the Knicks last night) on a roster that is as incompatible with that system as any team in the league, but he has taken Pau AND Dwight out of the post. To make matters worse, he is also NO BETTER at player rotations than Mike Brown AND he is ALSO micro-managing the offense to death, but unlike MB...He is ignoring the defense.
At least with Mike Brown, if he hadn't chosen the Princeton, we could have developed a rhythm in the post. With 'Antoni, not only are we now a WAY WORSE defensive team, but our depth is being sabotaged by poor rotations and our most efficient offensive weapons in the paint are not being utilized properly. THIS HAS TO STOP NOW. Phil Jackson didn't teach defense because that is not necessary. Anyone who has played or even watched basketball knows how to try to prevent someone from putting a ball in a metal hoop.
Though Phil Jackson did not emphasize defense in practice, he stressed the importance of playing defense on winning, as well as instilling it philosophically, and he had no problem holding ALL of his players accountable when they cut corners or lacked effort. He prepared players MENTALLY for how to win. That is the most glaring weakness of this year's team. We have been in almost every game we have lost this season. We have been within 5 points late in the game in every loss (save maybe 2 or 3) down the stretch. The main difference is that now we are a mentally weak team, and under Phil we were more mentally tough than any other team in the league.
Phil Jackson is (and should have been) the only real option for this team for "basketball reasons." His slower, more deliberate pace would limit turnovers and play to our stengths in match-ups against our primary rivals (San Antonio, OKC, Miami, NY). The triangle's post oriented nature, as well as Phil's preference for maximizing opportunities as close to the basket as possible, would not only capitalize on our biggest strength (for god's sake we have MANY excellent post players in Gasol, Howard, Bryant, Metta, Hill and Sacre) but would also provide better opportunities for players like Meeks, Jamison, Duhon, Ebanks, etc.
Say what you will about Steve Nash not fitting the triangle, but if he really couldn't adjust we could always trade him for a couple quality triangle guards...his trade value is very high. If he did fit in, then all the better. Phil Jackson has NEVER had a dominant PG, and he has won more rings that ANY coach in this league. I love Steve Nash, but hiring a head coach JUST for his sake was the biggest mistake that we could have made, let alone the fact that we made the mistake TWICE if you count the Eddie Jordan hire and the resulting Princeton fiasco.
Steve Nash should have been expected to adjust to a post oriented, slow paced style, or be traded for a guard (or guards) who can. More than anything else, Phil Jackson is the man with the respect and stature to ABSOLUTELY COMMAND respect and accountability from every player on the roster. It is a shame and embarassment that the organization passed him over, especially in the manner they did it, for a coach with a system like MD. If it was working, I might feel differently, but it is PREDICTABLY not working, so this is a conversation that has to be had right now.
We should have hired Phil. We still could hire Phil. I truly hope he did not mean what he said in the video. If so, this team may be doomed. That is, unless Mike 'Antoni can make the drastic changes to his system that are necessary...E.G. abandoning it all together and playing through the post. The changes that are necessary to make for this team to be successful are clear, now we just have to wait and see if Mike A can do something he has never been willing to do thus far in his entire career. I hope he has the integrity and discipline to make the necessary changes. Mr. Pringles changing his style to fit the team might be necessary, but it is a scenario that is about as likely as Antawn Jamison averaging 40 points per game for the rest of the season.
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.