[New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

[New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby Battle Tested20 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:58 pm

Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

The Los Angeles Lakers already have fired one head coach in this disappointing season, but general manager Mitch Kupchak isn't placing all the blame for the team's 17-24 start on the current one.

"Without a doubt, we have utmost confidence in Mike (D'Antoni) as a coach," Kupchak told ESPNLosAngeles.com in a phone interview Tuesday. "I think if you spoke to him, his vision on Day 1 was dramatically different than it is today. It's the coach's job to adjust and to make changes. Sometimes a player is just not going to fit. Sometimes a coach has to make changes and compromise in the way he's done things and I think that's what Mike is going through right now is just the process."

The Lakers have hit the midway point of the season riding a three-game losing skid as some of the promises made in D'Antoni's introductory news conference in November are starting to ring hollow.

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D'Antoni claimed the team should "easily" average 110-115 points per game under his guidance. They've crossed the 110-point threshold just eight times in the 31 games since he took over, going 5-3.

At the time of D'Antoni's hiring, Kupchak said the new coach's system was "more suited to the talent" on the Lakers than Phil Jackson's Triangle offense, and yet several players have had a difficult time fitting in -- Dwight Howard has sniped publicly about his lack of post-up and shot attempts, Pau Gasol has balked at accepting his role off the bench and free agent acquisitions Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks have both had to endure strings of DNP-CDs (Did Not Play -- Coaching Decision) under D'Antoni.

Yet, Kupchak said D'Antoni's shuffling of the roster is evidence that the coach is willing to change and try new things in order to try to start winning.

"It's not like he started a week or two ago trying to figure this thing out," Kupchak said. "He's been searching for combinations now for probably six-to-eight weeks. Understandably, I think the longer the season goes the more is at stake and the bigger hole you dig, the more dramatic your adjustments or your take on coaching has to become. I think that's what he's doing. He's grabbing every rabbit out of the hat trying to look for something that works."

While Kupchak is continuing to support the coach, the disappointment of the Lakers being out of the playoff picture with 41 games left to play is wearing on the Lakers' GM.

"You don't want to get too emotional one way or the other, but, we're halfway through now," Kupchak said. "Quite frankly, we've dug a hole and I think it's frustrating for everybody. It's certainly not what anybody or everybody expected halfway through the season."

Kupchak singled out the Lakers' effort, or lack thereof, as the most frustrating part to see.

"I'm a little bit concerned about our effort," Kupchak said. "I'd like to see better effort on the court. When the ball is not bouncing your way, when shots aren't going in, you just can't seem to get a break, the one thing you can control on the court is your effort and loose balls and running the floor, defending, offensive rebounding. I think back to the Miami game and I have that vision of LeBron (James) diving on that ball at midcourt. That's effort. It's natural when things get tough to hesitate and be unsure, lose confidence. That's one thing that we can't let happen. We have to maintain our confidence and our effort more than anything has to be at an all-time to get through this period."

Kupchak is well aware of the Feb. 21 trade deadline looming if the team decides it needs to pursue a move if that confidence wanes and that effort fails to improve.

"We've got a little bit (less) than a month," Kupchak said. "Typically, it's unusual, although there was a trade today (between Memphis and Cleveland), it's unusual if things heat up five or four weeks out. Typically, as you approach the trade deadline, people get serious and they really begin to understand and know their team and they have a pretty good feel of what's out there.

"So, I don't think we're at the point where you say, 'It's time for a trade,' and a trade happens in 3-4 days. That's just not how this league works. I read somebody somewhere a week or so ago said, 'This is a deadline-oriented league,' and I think that's true even though there are exceptions. That's certainly one way to address the problem, to look into changing players."

What's tricky for Kupchak is that he's not convinced making a trade or signing a free agent would act as a cure-all for the Lakers' funk.

"Part of the frustrating thing about this season to date is that I just can't, or we just can't, put our finger on the problem," Kupchak said. "We mentioned a bunch of them and even getting through the injuries and the (roster) changes and the coaching changes and you just try look at the players and how they fit together, is there something that's missing? I could look at our group and nitpick and say that we could use something here or a better shooter there, but the bottom line is that the group as whole, we have not performed to the level of our ability.

"It's not like we don't have a player at a certain position and if we added a player -- an eighth guy or a ninth guy -- all of the sudden our record is going to go from 17 and whatever it is to 30-11. That's not going to happen by adding a bench shooter or a defensive player. You know what I mean? That's not going to happen. We're underachieving for other reasons, not because we're missing a bench player. Certainly you can add a bench player and become a better team, or hopefully a better team, but that's not the reason why our record is what it is. We should be better than our record says we are. But there's a saying in this league, and I'm sure you've heard this saying, 'You are what your record says you are.' "

The Lakers' record of just 2-7 over their past nine games says that the team is getting worse, but Kupchak believes it's just been more of the same.

"I'm not sure there have been recent struggles," Kupchak said. "We've struggled from Day 1. It's not like we played good ball and then all of the sudden the last three to four weeks, we're starting to struggle. We have struggled from Day 1 and it's frustrating for everybody."

That frustration will linger until the Lakers start to play up to their capabilities.

"We'll just have to figure it out," Kupchak said. "There's no end to this. It's not like if it's not figured out in a week it comes to a conclusion. It's just a process. We just got to keep on working at it and figure it out. It's basketball."


http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/8871522/mitch-kupchak-los-angeles-lakers-says-team-problem-effort-not-mike-dantoni
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby 432J on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:02 pm

and that's why you don't hire a coach based off of a single over the phone interview my friends
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby Pig Miller on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:02 pm

you know mitch is working on some ideas as we speak.

here's the main problem with this team: there's not just 1 area of concern, we're terrible in all aspects of the game.

is there anything this team is good/efficient at? we have nothing to lean back on, no offense, no defense, no defined style of play
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby puffyusaf#2 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:03 pm

I agree... It isn't lack of talent it is lack of fricken effort.

If the right deal came they would make it but I don't think they are trying to blow up everything with the talent we have.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby Lakerjones on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:07 pm

You know the annoying thing though. The Lakers haven't struggled since Day One. Yes, they struggled under Brown and D' Antoni. But they DIDN'T struggle at all under Bernie. They played loose and they actually had some fun. It was good basketball. He substituted at the appropriate times in a rational manner. He didn't have to go through a million lineup changes like D' Antoni is. The bigs actually played well together while Bernie was interim HC. Bad coaching, inflexible coaching is what we've seen before and after. It's all pretty straight forward actually.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby dwighthowardsdad on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:16 pm

He's right. Nevertheless, I will say this; when your two best players in Dwight & Kobe don't get along & the situation is excerbated because you're not winning games, it has an effect on you mentally. The team is playing uninspired basketball.

I have a strong feeling things are going to get worse and dissension in the locker room will start to permeate even more then what it is right now. It's going to be a very interesting next month or so...
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby dj vitus on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:17 pm

At this point, confidence is the big worry. We just don't believe we can win games anymore. Without confidence, there's no effort. Then the losses pile up and it's a vicious cycle.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby Pig Miller on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:22 pm

i don't agree that it's a lack of effort. it's a lack of a plan and discipline. you can put all the energy into it, but if guys aren't on the same page, it's wasted energy. that falls on mda.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby quartzcharm on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:24 pm

I think that effort goes hand in hand with believing in what you're doing. The Lakers don't believe in Pringles system. And he's not willing to adjust. All he wants to do is run up and down the court...offense, offense, offense. That's on the coach.

He's not playing into his superstars strengths.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby TaniBoyz on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:27 pm

it's hard to play inspired basketball with this POS coach
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby lakersin4 on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:29 pm

Lakerjones wrote:You know the annoying thing though. The Lakers haven't struggled since Day One. Yes, they struggled under Brown and D' Antoni. But they DIDN'T struggle at all under Bernie. They played loose and they actually had some fun. It was good basketball. He substituted at the appropriate times in a rational manner. He didn't have to go through a million lineup changes like D' Antoni is. The bigs actually played well together while Bernie was interim HC. Bad coaching, inflexible coaching is what we've seen before and after. It's all pretty straight forward actually.

Everyone likes to point this out but we couldn't have sustained that. We got by for a handful of games playing streetball & just having everyone play their game & letting our talent win us games, but over the course of a long season + playoffs, you need a system or teams figure you out & shut you down. We have to figure out how to maximize the talent we have while still utilizing D'antoni's system. Kobe touched on alot of the needed adjustments in his recent rant, & now Mitch hit the nail on the head calling out the lack of effort.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby Pig Miller on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:29 pm

this is like a HS student studying hard for their history test, only to arrive on test day and realize he actually has a math test. completely misguided effort and focus.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby noobiew on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:30 pm

Stop lying Mitch, coaching is the bigger worry not effort, we have a system that doesn't fit into our personnel and couldn't utilize our players strength properly, MDA system is not working here as our roster couldn't run it.

Please do something and do it now, did you know we are 2-9 over the past 11 games, we are among the lottery bottom team in the Western conference standing, we need to do whatever we can to at least make it into the playoffs as a 8th seed, if we failed to make into the playoffs this season Dwight Howard is good as gone !
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby lakersyunowin on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:35 pm

coach, personnel, owner...there are some pretty substantial issues in all of these categories. mitch save us.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby revgen on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:44 pm

noobiew wrote:Stop lying Mitch, coaching is the bigger worry not effort, we have a system that doesn't fit into our personnel and couldn't utilize our players strength properly, MDA system is not working here as our roster couldn't run it.

Please do something and do it now, did you know we are 2-9 over the past 11 games, we are among the lottery bottom team in the Western conference standing, we need to do whatever we can to at least make it into the playoffs as a 8th seed, if we failed to make into the playoffs this season Dwight Howard is good as gone !


I could buy the "system excuse" if we were a 7th seed team when we should be a 1st or 2nd seed team. When we're 7 games under .500, there is something more than just the system holding us back.

D'Antoni's system doesn't seem to be stopping guys like Earl Clark and Jordan Hill from going out there, busting their butt, and producing.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby Kit on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:46 pm

This is only going to get worse unless Kobe and Dwight bond during the allstar weekend.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby JoelMyersScrotalSack on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:49 pm

revgen wrote:
noobiew wrote:Stop lying Mitch, coaching is the bigger worry not effort, we have a system that doesn't fit into our personnel and couldn't utilize our players strength properly, MDA system is not working here as our roster couldn't run it.

Please do something and do it now, did you know we are 2-9 over the past 11 games, we are among the lottery bottom team in the Western conference standing, we need to do whatever we can to at least make it into the playoffs as a 8th seed, if we failed to make into the playoffs this season Dwight Howard is good as gone !


I could buy the "system excuse" if we were a 7th seed team when we should be a 1st or 2nd seed team. When we're 7 games under .500, there is something more than just the system holding us back.

D'Antoni's system doesn't seem to be stopping guys like Earl Clark and Jordan Hill from going out there, busting their butt, and producing.


I think the system itself could work if the players believe it could work. I don't get that sense watching them play. There's no confidence in anything they do, it's almost as if they just enter the games with a plan in mind and then scrap it the minute it starts. This has been an issue since last season, the team has no identity.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby KareemTheGreat33 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:01 am

It's not effort, it's concerted effort that''s lacking, we lack cohesion, in other words, we are not a "team"
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby noobiew on Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:29 am

JoelMyersScrotalSack wrote:
revgen wrote:
noobiew wrote:Stop lying Mitch, coaching is the bigger worry not effort, we have a system that doesn't fit into our personnel and couldn't utilize our players strength properly, MDA system is not working here as our roster couldn't run it.

Please do something and do it now, did you know we are 2-9 over the past 11 games, we are among the lottery bottom team in the Western conference standing, we need to do whatever we can to at least make it into the playoffs as a 8th seed, if we failed to make into the playoffs this season Dwight Howard is good as gone !


I could buy the "system excuse" if we were a 7th seed team when we should be a 1st or 2nd seed team. When we're 7 games under .500, there is something more than just the system holding us back.

D'Antoni's system doesn't seem to be stopping guys like Earl Clark and Jordan Hill from going out there, busting their butt, and producing.


I think the system itself could work if the players believe it could work. I don't get that sense watching them play. There's no confidence in anything they do, it's almost as if they just enter the games with a plan in mind and then scrap it the minute it starts. This has been an issue since last season, the team has no identity.


Yes could be, maybe our players are smart enough to know that our roster strength was post-up play and we should employed a slow-it-down, inside/out basketball but we have a coach that hates traditional post-up play, think it was the most inefficient play in the basketball, want his players to run & gun, want a perimeter guard oriented system that doesn't fit to this team, want to shoot more 3pts, talk only offense but lack detail emphasize on defense. Thus the players can't take this coach seriously and turned him out, as they think the coach is not adjusting and not putting them in their comfort zone to success, causing them to not believe in this coach as they are very confuse in his system, all the way losing confident, cohesion and chemistry in the team itself, going through the motions, playing uninspired out there thus explained the lack of effort from the players because they are not motivated out there playing for this coach ?

Look and compare the record of New York Knicks with Mike D'Antoni and Mike Woodson, also Brooklyn Nets record with Avery Johnson and PJ Carlesimo, with the same rosters but the only change was the coach, the result was noticeable.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby therealdeal on Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:44 am

Besides giving D'Antoni too much credit Mitch is 99% right.

He keeps citing the fact that we're not playing up to our talent as a reason why we're not anxious to make trades and to sign free agents. He gives the impression that we're not getting new players because we're underperforming.

The problem is that's EXACTLY WHY we need a change. We're not just going to magically turn it around. We apparently don't have the leadership to do so. We need someone on the team that can help change the mentality that we have.

We need something Mitch. What we have isn't cutting it from the coaching staff, to the players, to the fans. None of us are doing enough.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:04 am

It's true that the Lakers did well under Bernie partially because they were elated to be rid of MB, but the other reason was that they had the freedom to just play together and see what works. That's what Spoelstra did for Miami when they got together, just let them play on offense, and preach defense every practice and every game. And it worked! With savvy vets like Kobe, Steve, and Dwight, they can figure out how to run an offense. Let Bernie and Eddie coach defense and hold everyone accountable for their defensive efforts.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby Lakeshow24 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:58 am

This interview with Mitch Kupchak is the big worry. The coach's system is garbage, it does not fit our personnel and that's that. Should have hired Phil when you had the shot a few months back.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby borri on Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:21 am

Lack of effort > than telling the truth that our players are old and bad. Lack of effort = company line response aimed to keep whatever leverage we still have with regards to making any trades.

DOn't look into this Mitch statement anymore that what i really is. He's saying what he's supposed to say.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby lotus on Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:37 am

I'm more concerned for what this means for the future. This season is toast, but what effect will this disfunction have on: D12 deciding to leave or stay; if he doesn't stay then who is the superstar after Kobe; and can we attract top free agents that want to come to this franchise if it appears to be under bad management.

The Lakers could really be in a situation where they miss the playoffs, don't participate in the 1st round of the draft, have a 41yr old point guard for next season, have an aged Kobe who I think burns out by the end of the season, and still have a roster that doesn't fit the MDA system. That is a scary future.
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Re: [New] Mitch Kupchak: Effort is the big worry

Postby lakerzkb8 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:17 am

He raises a good point. Something tells me theirs a disconnect in the lockeroom. Kobe publically saying for Pau to grow a pair that has to sting. its obvious Dwight and Kobe are not on the same page completely. Theres a reason why teams get better when they're together for a while more often then not. People hated on Derek Fisher or Lamar Odom but both of em had a lot of hard and that stuff makes a difference in the lockeroom. You need those pep talks. You need guys telling you and saying hey good job sometimes. Theres just no chemistry on this team. Everyone just seems to be focused on themselves. Kobes never really been a lockeroom leader, he just leads by example. Paus so focused on his reputation that it gets to him sometimes, and his comments about not being okay coming off the bench just isnt professional and helping the team. The list goes on.

Going to say something random, but these guys need to maybe work on being friends and just having some fun again. The effort will go up with a sense of camaraderie. Go out together. Joke around. You can see how tight those championship teams were in 09-10. Kobe, LO, Derek, Sasha and the machine talk, DJ mbenga, farmar, etc. This roster honestly was totally revamped with new coaching AND an enormous amount of expectation. Those role/bench players, even second options just werent ready to play, and its snowballed into this hole that they cant get out of. They need to get out of it together as one. Sacrifce and hardwork will turn this season around. More of the same, or little adjustments wont do anything. The team needs to change completely, if that means kobes stats going down, or pau coming off the bench, or D'Antoni drawing up some post plays for Dwight/Pau, etc etc. The things need to change top to the bottom.
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