OK, this is the optimistic thread, so I will tell you why I feel optimistic about Mike D'Antoni as the Lakers head coach.
Our bench will get more shots and more playing time. One of the primary considerations for adding a new head coach had to be the development of our bench. Our starters are experienced veterans with high IQs who can adapt to any system. For all the talk of the Princeton offense, the lack of production from our bench (Mike never really used the bench players, much like Phil) was the primary reason for the team's poor record and inconsistent scoring under Mike Brown, even including last season...which was Pre-Princeton.
The coach who can get more playing time, more shots and more confidence and comfort for our bench going forward is the coach who, IMHO, will give the Lakers the best chance to win a championship. Phil's Lakers lost their bid for a three peat due to an inadequately prepared bench. Depth is huge these days, and a winning team must give playing time to their bench during the regular season.
Our team will still be a great defensive team, in time. Our team has many players who know how to play defense. We have veteran all-star talent leading the team by example in practice and in games. If Mike D'Antoni simply stays out of their way, and let's them play defense for themselves, he should not have to worry about fielding questions regarding the team's lack of defense.
Phil Jackson was my primary choice, but Mike D'Antoni still excites me, and I truly believe (as I did before he became the Lakers coach) that he has what it takes to be a champion as a head coach. Honestly, I think he is a better coach than Erik Spoelstra, and the Heat just won. Stay Calm, Lakers fans, the last few games gave us an adequate preview of exactly why a more up-tempo, open offensive philosophy is better for our PG, better for our bench, and ultimately probably better for re-signing Dwight Howard.
Will it prove to be better for winning the championship? For that, we will have to wait and see. For now, I am choosing to be optimistic...
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.