Lakers fans, you officially can rejoice as your team will finally have an offensive system again with the hiring of Mike D’antoni. The Lakers shocked the world this morning not re-hiring Phil Jackson for the third time where he would return to coach mostly home games with an influx in power for the team behind the scenes and a potential job upon his retirement. D’antoni will receive a 3-Year/$12M Deal with a 4th year team option. Jim Buss thought Jackson was asking for too much and decided to go a different route with the hiring of D’antoni.
The Lakers offense instantly improves as Mike will bring in his classic Phoenix Suns “Run N Gun” style offense to the city of Angels (which some of us are still in shock to see) as he’ll re-unite with his good friend, Steve Nash. The Lakers defense expected by many is expected to take a dip, but I’m not convinced this veteran group of starters will play any worse defense but more likely better to be motivated with this new offense.
This year under Mike Brown, the Lakers had moved to the Princeton offense which basically phased out Steve Nash of being the primary ball handler causing him to play out of his element as the Lakers jumped off to a rough start. Now re-united with D’antoni, Nash will have complete control again with the ball in his hands primarily to run the Lakers offense taking the load off of Kobe Bryant who will obviously be in control of the game in the final minutes of their games.
Last year D’antoni was fired from the Knicks which was a bad situation to begin with as he never willingly accepted (wanted) Carmelo Anthony on his team as the primary option. Our good friends in New York instantly became impatient with Mike calling for his resignation on a nightly basis until Linsanity arrived but that couldn’t stop the imminent from happening.
With the Lakers, D’antoni will finally have that dominant big man he’s never had his career who’s big on both sides of the floor (Amare no defense, Chandler no offense) as Dwight Howard will instantly have his career rejuvenated in the pick and roll offense with Nash in the half court set with Kobe and Gasol open on the wings to knock down them jumpers.
The Lakers bench will also be able to flourish under the “Mike D’antoni” system as they’ll have offensive freedom with Nash to showcase their talents without worrying about any consequences as opposed to Mike Brown’s set.
Some readers out there might not like this move, but with Phil Jackson at the age of 70 years old, for the long term, this might be the Lakers best move as I expect them to be in South Beach this June competing for that NBA Title.