Monday brought plenty of chatter regarding different forms of quasi-mutiny after a weekend of games — successful games! — in which the Lakers appeared to go away from Mike D”Antoni”s offensive system.
No question, a few things looked different, starting with Kobe Bryant controlling much of the offensive flow, as opposed to Steve Nash. And there wasn”t much fast breakin”, either. 93 possessions against the Thunder was L.A.”s fourth lowest total in their last 15. As Kobe and Dwight Howard noted Sunday afternoon, they played closer to the basket. On the other hand, just as it was Friday the Lakers piled up assists. 29 in 41 field goals. They moved without the ball, cut decisively, showed excellent spacing, and so on.
All stuff D”Antoni has been preaching. So I asked him Monday how he had adjusted his system over the last two games.
“You know what, it”s funny,” he said. “I don”t have a system. I”m just trying to win games, and you try to figure out your talent. The only system I got is you take good shots and move the ball. I think every coach wants the same thing. Anybody can do X”s and O”s. Just get a book and read about X”s and O”s. But it”s the chemistry, it”s the players getting into the right spots, it”s making quick decisions. It”s all the stuff that goes on between the players. I”ve got to give them credit. They came together.”
Many wrote today the Lakers were successful, but weren”t running “your stuff.”
“Yeah,” he said, “but I don”t think we were running anybody”s stuff. We weren”t doing anything. I”m not stuck on — I”m stuck on good basketball, and whatever it takes. You can run whatever you want. You can run a flop, you can run elbow, you can run corners, you can run pick-and-rolls, you can run whatever. If you don”t have good ball movement and good spacing and quick decisions, you”re not going to be very good.”
From there, he noted how everyone needs to understand and feel comfortable in his role. The moral of D”Antoni”s story, though, is that he”s pushing principles more than a rigid, more dogmatic series of sets.Read More