The Lakers have made their decision: Mike D’Antoni. I, as well as most of Laker Nation, wanted PJ all along, but the Buss family refused to give him more power and now that dream is over with. However, PJ would not have equated a ring automatically, remember how his last year here ended (SWEEP). Let’s look at the Pro’s and Con’s of this choice.
- With D’Antoni at the helm, Steve Nash will finally be utilized correctly and we will see this Lakers offense flourish as the Suns did from 2004 -2008. Think about all of PJ’s teams and try and remember a point guard running the show or flourishing. Paxson, Harper, Shaw, Fisher. All those guys were spot up 3 point shooters and solid defenders. Nash would have been utilized the same way he was under Mike Brown: poorly.
- Dwight is NOT a back to the basket big man and would not flourish in the Triangle offense like Shaq did. Shaq was MUCH bigger than Dwight, had better post moves, better footwork, and a softer touch around the basket. We will FINALLY see a Steve Nash, Dwight Howard pick-and-roll offense that will be extremely effective and entertaining
- The concern is that D’Antoni’s teams don’t play defense. To be fair, his personnel was more to blame than his coaching. Raja Bell and Shawn Marion were his only defensive players and they always did their part. Also, defense isn’t about coaching, it’s about effort. Mike Brown was a “defensive genius” and look how that turned out. D’Antoni’s Suns teams had a front court lineup with Amar’e Stoudemire playing the center position (As well as one futile year with an aging Shaq). Has Amar’e EVER played defense in his life? With Dwight protecting the rim I believe this team will be fine defensively.
- Fans have been crying for Jodie Meeks to see the court; well, here’s his chance. Meeks is the only spot up shooter we have and will be essential in the D’Antoni system of spreading the floor and finding the open man
- Phil Jackson is a champion and it rubs off on his players. With so many stars on the roster it will be tough for D’Antoni to command as much respect as PJ would have commanded immediately upon entering the Lakers facility. Then again, it can’t be as bad as it was with Mike Brown who commanded absolutely no respect
- Pau and Dwight cannot be on the floor at the same time anymore. In D’Antoni’s system, the power forward needs to spread the floor a la Shawn Marion. Pau needs to either come off the bench or be traded for a Josh Smith type player and some athletic 3 point shooters
- We saw what Carmelo Anthony did to D’Antoni’s system in New York by stopping the ball movement and trying to go 1 on 1 all the time. Will Kobe do the same thing in this offense or will he hand over the keys to Nash and play his role as a wing threat?
- D’Antoni’s Suns teams were infamous for having a 7 to 8 man rotation, meaning he would only play about 2 or 3 bench players per game. This Lakers team is quite old and having them play 40 minutes a night may not work out in the long run. D’Antoni needs to trust his bench and play his starters limited minutes until the postseason
- Finally, what does this mean in terms of keeping Dwight after this season? If things don’t go as planned and the Lakers don’t make it to the Finals, will Dwight jump ship and go to another team? With Phil at the helm, there is no way Dwight walks from the top franchise and top coach. Make no mistake about it, Laker Nation, if Dwight Howard leaves as a free agent this summer, say hello to the Lottery.