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Mike D'Antoni Spends More Time On Practicing Defense


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#1 LALakersFan4Life

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 07:53 PM

The article is about Shawne Williams but this is most interesting.

"I've done noticed some stuff about Mike too a little bit," Williams said. "It seems like he's harping a little bit more on defense now. He's spending more time on defense. It used to just be a lot of offense and he used to try to tell us, 'Defense comes from within,' but now, everything starts with defense and then we let that dictate the offense."

"The way I've been seeing it, he's been positive. He's been kind of amped and hyped and he's just been doing a lot of defense. That's the most shocking thing about it. He's doing a lot of defense. Tha'’s good. That just shows me that he's thinking ahead and working on everything.



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Good to hear about D'Antoni practicing and preaching more about defense since all the stories we hear on tv, from his former players and analysts about him not practicing defense in the past.

#2 Harry Styles

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 07:59 PM

Don't you actually have to know what defense is to teach it?



#3 FranklinPeanuts

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 08:26 PM

Who would of thunk it..... Defense wins games..
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Posted October 01, 2013 - 08:29 PM

Thank you Kurt.


yo.


#5 Majesty

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 08:33 PM

His 05 Suns team was 7th in causing turnovers, and was top 10 in both defensive rebounds and blocks.  

How do you think all their fast breaks started?  They were caused off turnovers, blocked shots and defensive rebounds. 

It is nice to hear him harping more on defense, Rambis influence as well.

Seems like our fast breaks will come off of causing turnovers etc, like what other teams have been doing to us for years.


Edited by Majesty, October 01, 2013 - 09:02 PM.

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#6 RobBlake

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 10:08 PM

MDA knows defense just is more of a specialist when it comes to offense. He will look like a better coach this season


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#7 Disaster in Paradise

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 10:13 PM

Make that mustache proud to be on that face, Mr. D'Antoni. 

Make it proud. 


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#8 Majesty

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 10:35 PM

You know.. just that ENTIRE article is amazing, I'm really rooting for Shawne Williams to make this team and focus on defense like he's being asked.   The fact that only Pau has a longer wingspan than him(and Pau is 7'2) and it's only one and half an inch wingspan advantage which says a lot as Williams is a guy that will fight for rebounds and switch to quicker guards on defense as well as not be afraid to go for blocks.

He is very much like Jordan Hill in terms of he can hustle but he can also shoot the three and both will try on the defensive end.  he is also capable of finishing games.


So I really am excited to see what he can bring.   

One of the most important things was this

 

A couple of months after the Lakers flamed out of the playoffs at the hands of a first-round sweep to the San Antonio Spurs, D'Antoni urged Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss to invite Williams to L.A. for a workout.

"You need guys that you can trust and you don't have to worry about and you know he's going to be there every day and he's going to be one of those guys," D’Antoni said.

Williams knew that he's a tough sell on paper and appreciated his old coach sticking his neck out for him.

"It was a hard process," Williams said. "Just telling the truth, coming in, I have a lot of little baggage. So, it was just kind of a tough process. But when you have people in your corner ... I look at the NBA like family, and family got to look out for each other and keep everything going."

D'Antoni put Williams on the Lakers' radar, but he wasn't just going to be given a No. 3 purple-and-gold uniform and told to start launching away from the outside. He had to earn it.

"I talked to Mike and I talked to Mitch and they gave me some goals to reach before I get to training camp, which was weight-wise, getting my weight down and stuff," Williams said. "I told them I can do it and they told me they'd give me a shot."

'A pro's pro'

D'Antoni said Williams looks as if he has lost 25 pounds since he first saw him work out this summer. Williams set the record straight, saying he weighed in at 250 pounds in his first official workout with the team, 246 in the second and 237.6 at the start of training camp. He was listed at 230 pounds when he played for the Knicks.

Williams gives all the credit to the program the Lakers' trainers formulated for him, calling it "one of the best staffs I've done seen."

 

Rather, it has been a steady process and DiFrancesco has already seen the weight room work translate into on-court success.

"He'd get a breakaway and there were a couple instances where he had a hard time finishing," DiFrancesco said. "A guy would catch up to him, even though he was ahead of the pack to start or, he would catch up to him and give him a little bit of legal contact and he would really lose his balance and not be able to take a hit and still finish. For his position, being able to get ahead of the pack and get to a spot where he can catch and shoot, that wasn't happening as much in the beginning. Then I started to see, he's absorbing contact, going through contact now. He's finishing certain plays. He's getting shots that he wasn't even getting 4-5 weeks ago because he's getting to his spots more efficiently, more effectively. The one thing we know for sure with Shawne that if he gets to his spot, he's going to hit his shot, probably.

"So those are the things that I kind of look for and can see the tangible, face-to-face, real progress."

Not to mention, shooters rely on confidence and nothing breeds confidence like looking good.

"When you start to drop non-functional, useless fat mass and you start to replace it with some functional, powerful, bullet-proof lean mass," DiFrancesco said, "you walk out onto this court like, 'Here we go! I'm feeling good!' "

 

While the Lakers could certainly use a consistent outside stroke like Williams' this season -- L.A. ranked 19th in team 3-point percentage last season -- D'Antoni says he thinks Williams brings more to the table than just shooting.

"One thing that's overlooked, the guy's 6-9," D'Antoni said. "His wingspan, the only guy with a greater wingspan than him is Pau and it's only by an inch and a half, and Pau's 7-2. Compare him to like Jordan Hill, for example, he has a two-inch (longer) wingspan and that's very important."

It's important because Williams' length can lead to deflections, steals, blocks and rebounds on defense, which is a category the Lakers have to improve on as a team even more than they do on their accuracy from beyond the arc. It's fitting, too, because Williams says D'Antoni is different than the guy he was with in New York.

"I've done noticed some stuff about Mike too a little bit," Williams said. "It seems like he's harping a little bit more on defense now. He's spending more time on defense. It used to just be a lot of offense and he used to try to tell us, 'Defense comes from within,' but now, everything starts with defense and then we let that dictate the offense."

'He knows we're in it together'

Coach and player are back together again. From Broadway and the Big Apple, to the bright lights of Hollywood, they're still linked by a bouncing ball. And they both have plenty of motivation to make up for the past.

"I feel like his spirit is great," Williams said. "Mike is the type of guy for me, he knows we're in it together. So, his spirit is always going to be high as a coach, as a leader. He don't harp on a lot of stuff. He tries to stay positive through losses and wins. That's what I can recall from him in New York.

"The way I've been seeing it, he's been positive. He's been kind of amped and hyped and he's just been doing a lot of defense. That's the most shocking thing about it. He's doing a lot of defense. That's good. That just shows me that he's thinking ahead and working on everything."

Just like Williams is working on his body, his game, his life, little by little.

"He's a tough guy," D'Antoni said. "I'll walk down an alley with him at night and I'll be fine. Now, he won't get much help from me, but I'm sure I'll get a lot of help from him."

The thing about that is, D'Antoni has already helped Williams in so many ways.

 


I think this publicity really in camp etc can give us some insights into how D'antoni deals with players, his 'honesty' with Williams does speak volumes.   I'm not gonna go crazy and say he'll help us to 60 wins as everything prior there are many things we could talk about.  But I'm giving him a clean slate this year, and stories like this do make me like the guy a bit more for what he's done for someone like Williams.

Hopefully williams translates to a fantastic stretch 4 for us that we didn't have last year!!!   He'll bring intensity and tenacity that's for sure and that long wingspan can help us loads especially with D'antoni as well as Rambis asking for more defense.   This is a big deal.   We're gonna run off defensive stops so that will be fun to watch. 

Just want us to give full effort every night and take full advantage of our depth! That shall only be possible if we remain healthy! That is the big thing :)


Edited by Majesty, October 01, 2013 - 10:37 PM.

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#9 DanishLakerFan

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 10:56 PM

I think we have the tools to become a decent defensive team. Not great, but decent. We have enough athleticism, depth and basketball-IQ to do that and it's just a question of whether we'll be able to execute the defensive scheme on a night-to-night basis.

 

Another question is whether we'll become a decent offensive team. We sure have the personnel but i'm not sure if MDA is the right coach. He is known for his offense, but his offense have only worked well in Phoenix - where he had Nash in his MVP years. I think there are a lot of coaches who could have a good offense with '05 Nash.

 

I personally think/fear that MDA doesn't understand the concept of getting the best possible shot i.e. from the post or from the 3pt line. His idea of shoot-it-or-pass-it and run-and-gun might be effective in Golden State, where everyone can run and everyone can shoot. But with the Lakers we have older guys and guys who have clear flaws in their game.

 

I think he really needs to get away from his old habits, but if he's starting to play defense, who knows.



#10 zombeef

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 11:09 PM

 Can an old dog learn new tricks? We'll see this season. 

 

 BTW, that was a terrific article. 



#11 Majesty

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 11:12 PM

think there are a lot of coaches who could have a good offense with '05 Nash.


Dallas didn't think so.


Can't we give the system credit too?  Cause that system revitalized Nash's career.  Because no one was looking at Phoenix in 05 and going "oh Steve Nash is gonna lead that team to the promise land nearly and they are gonna have 60 wins"

I think we speak with a lot of hindsight when it comes to Phoenix, but we aren't realizing that it wasn't till Nash got to that system too that we started seeing the absolute best out of him, so maybe it was the system AND Nash and the fact that it took advantage of him.

Perhaps that system works more for the players than we give it credit for. 

I don't think our starting lineup is gonna run as much as our bench is gonna run.  We'll be more of an opportunistic running team but our bench is gonna be the one that will attempt to run other teams out of the building.


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#12 DanishLakerFan

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Posted October 01, 2013 - 11:50 PM


Dallas didn't think so.


Can't we give the system credit too?  Cause that system revitalized Nash's career.  Because no one was looking at Phoenix in 05 and going "oh Steve Nash is gonna lead that team to the promise land nearly and they are gonna have 60 wins"

I think we speak with a lot of hindsight when it comes to Phoenix, but we aren't realizing that it wasn't till Nash got to that system too that we started seeing the absolute best out of him, so maybe it was the system AND Nash and the fact that it took advantage of him.

Perhaps that system works more for the players than we give it credit for. 

I don't think our starting lineup is gonna run as much as our bench is gonna run.  We'll be more of an opportunistic running team but our bench is gonna be the one that will attempt to run other teams out of the building.

 

Don't get me wrong, the system was a perfect fit for those Suns teams and it helped Steve Nash to become 2time MVP Steve Nash.  All i'm saying is that other coaches could have done a pretty good job with those guys too.

 

Agree with your take on the bench. In fact, the diversity and depth of this season's lakers may be the most underrated part. We can throw a lot of stuff at other teams and will win games on that alone. I think Farmar-Meeks-Young-Williams-Hill would be an extremely annoying second unit to go against. 

 

The problem, I think, is when/if we make the playoffs, where we'll be forced to go with the starters for extended minutes.



#13 Majesty

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 01:14 AM

I think how long we go with the starters depends how fast we come out of the gate and if the bench can stay consistent.

I mean Blake we could play for Nash for stretches and we'd fine.  Blake can do what we'd need Nash to do, Nash is just the better shooter and playmaker but Blake is a fine substitute while Nash rests and if Blake is off we can switch to Farmar who is young.

I remember once in Phoenix the Suns beat the Spurs in the playoffs with Nash sitting most of the 4th because Dragic was going off.

I think we have a deep enough bench to have moments like that.   Farmar can go off in times in ways that can allow us to save Nash and if Young has one of those on fire games we can keep Kobe resting even longer.   Stuff like that I think helps.

There are more people that would have to do bad in order to bring in the starters again.

For instance we rest Nash, last year it was Blake that if he was messing up Nash came back, or Morris or Duhon..

This year, its Blake and Farmar that would have to mess up for Nash to come back in early.

Last year it was basically if Meeks messed up Kobe came back in..

This year it's if Young messes up, followed by Meeks messing up, then Kobe comes back in.

Last year it was...well... who was our backup center? lol Sacre? 

last year it was when Jamison was messing up, Gasol would come back in, cause Hill was injured, and if they started together....crap...

This year, it's if Chris Kaman messes up, followed by if Jordan Hill messes up(as he can play the 4 or 5) then Gasol can come back in.    That and we'll have Shawne Williams coming off for Jordan Hill fingers crossed, and that works in it's own ways.

We HAVE the squad to run 11-12 deep actually and we haven't had that in a while where there isn't really a 'super weak' link on our bench.

Our bench is pretty deep actually.


Blake, Farmar
Young, Meeks
Landry or Henry(depends who makes it)
Williams

Kaman  


that's a 7 player deep bench. 

Add the 5 in our starting lineup that's 12.


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#14 Michaelyumm

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 01:18 AM

I'm sure MDA is itching to prove everyone wrong, I know he's going full force trying to win games.

 

Now let's see it!



#15 Yellow_Evan

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 03:54 AM

Never thought that the day would come where I see this thread.



#16 kball

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 04:11 AM

Don't you actually have to know what defense is to teach it?

Especially since 1/2 of each game the team is playing it (in theory) a couple feet away from him.

 

And i'd settle for the team being a good defensive team. Tough to be a great defensive team with age, new faces, players coming back from injury etc.

 

Not expecting chicago memphis type defense.

 

As a fan of fastbreak bball, id rather see games around 105, than 80-90 during the season. It seems that 2nd unit is primed to play a disrupt and go style.


Edited by kball, October 02, 2013 - 04:32 AM.

Praying for 1. Kobe's Health (looks pretty good so far), 2. High Draft Pick (Randle...injured game #1.*sigh*) 3. Miracle Trade (Not yet), 4. Quality Free Agent (Boozer, kind of, Davis, nice upside!), 5. Brilliant Coaching Hire (Byron!...but the jury is out)

 


#17 Majesty

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 04:45 AM

Especially since 1/2 of each game the team is playing it (in theory) a couple feet away from him.

 

And i'd settle for the team being a good defensive team. Tough to be a great defensive team with age, new faces, players coming back from injury etc.

 

Not expecting chicago memphis type defense.

 

As a fan of fastbreak bball, id rather see games around 105, than 80-90 during the season. It seems that 2nd unit is primed to play a disrupt and go style.



agree 100% and if we're gonna really run 11 deep that means that legs are gonna be fresh cause some guys can get some run while others do and we wouldn't have to play guys through injuries. 

If we brought a 15 man roster from camp and it looked like this


Nash / Blake / Farmar
Kobe / Young / Meeks
Johnson / Landry/ Henry
Hill / Williams / Kelly or Harris
Gasol / Kaman / Sacre

 

Then our 3 weaker players that would be inactive which I would figure would be Sacre, Harris or Kelly and Henry.  Would still be aiming to go, and not to mention harris does have skill as well as Henry and Kelly is a wild card if healthy.  

Either way these guys can challenge in camp and put in some work and each have a better ceiling than our 13,14 and 15th off the bench last year.

So when it comes down to it we have a much deeper unit, a much younger squad and we could run young lineups all day if we wanted to. 

Only Kobe, Nash and Gasol should be considered "old"  Kaman is 31 but come on lol that's not "old".    If we want to run we'll put Hill at the 5 undersized against another teams bench and be off to the races.


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#18 epicwolf

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 08:48 AM

Why are you guys so surprised that MDA spend so much time on looking at defense?. This is probably the first time he heard about this nice concept called "defense."  So in order to know about it you have to learn what it is first.  I can see it now.  He walks into the practice vacility of the Lakers in El Segundo and was very curious of what Kurt Rambis was doing with those guys. So he walked up to Rambis was  like

 

" What are you guys doing?" 

 

Rambis said " We practicing defense."   

 

MDA responds. "oh. I heard of it. Never really know what it is. I thought it was just a saying"

 

Rambis thinking to himself  *this guy can't be serious. Thank God I will only work with this idiot for another year when the next real coach comes in."


MDA is an offensive genius. I hope he sticks to his guns and keeps doing what he does best: Run and Gun. That's the only way to coach.


#19 True Lakers Fan

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 09:32 AM

 Kurt Rambis


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#20 KobeWillReturnTriumphant

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Posted October 02, 2013 - 09:36 AM

great article.  Thanks for posting.






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