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Friday, October 31, 2014

Former Knicks Coach Mike D’Antoni Named Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers

In a somewhat shocking turn of events, Phil Jackson’s contract demands were too much for the Los Angeles Lakers and they decided to instead hire former Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni earlier this morning.

D’Antoni will be reunited with Steve Nash, who D’Antoni coached for years in Phoenix. Also, D’Antoni famously was Kobe Bryant’s childhood idol when Bryant was a kid in Italy (as has been famously noted often over the years, Bryant took his original number 8 because that is what D’Antoni wore when he was a point guard in Italy).

The deal is for three years/$12 million and the Lakers have an option for a fourth year.

87 comments on “Former Knicks Coach Mike D’Antoni Named Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers

  1. Brian Cronin

    Carried over from the previous thread:

    This is high-larious. I mean, when you look at what they were preparing to offer Jackson, it really looked like the guy just didn’t want to come back unless they gave him the moon (I mean, for crying out loud, they were offering to let him skip games!!! Who the hell hires a coach and lets him skip games?!? And that was not enough for him! He also wanted over $10 million a year and the right to pick his successor!), so it makes some sense, but wow, I really really did not think that D’Antoni would get such a prestigious coaching job so soon after leaving the Knicks. And you can tell that he had no clue it would happen either (or else there’s no way he would have gotten his recent surgery). He seemed completely prepared to wait a year (possibly two) before getting back into the game, and I bet he figured it would be on a smaller scale, like coaching the Cavaliers or some shit like that, not the coach of the Los Angeles freakin’ Lakers! Totally nuts.

    Oh well, good for him. The Lakers are not a great fit for him, but still, it’s the Lakers, he must be thrilled.

  2. BigBlueAL

    I know many here dont like D’Antoni but I liked him alot and wish him nothing but the best. When he joined the Knicks he was a breath of fresh air after having to put up with Isiah’s coaching. I enjoyed listening alot to D’Antoni’s interviews/press conferences and he made the 2 wasted years before the summer of 2010 a bit fun to watch at least.

    If the Knicks dont win it all this year I hope the Lakers do for D’Antoni’s sake. Im sure many here wont feel the same way though lol

  3. Brian Cronin

    I certainly had my issues with D’Antoni over the years, but yeah, he was a hell of a lot better fit than every other coach the Knicks had between Van Gundy and himself. So sure, I wish him well. It’ll be interesting to see what he does with the Lakers’ offense, especially since their defense has been their bigger problem.

  4. Brian Cronin

    Simmons tweeted the other day how what would scare him was D’Antoni getting the job and then the Lakers trading Pau to Atlanta for Josh Smith, Kyle Korver + Petro’s expiring. Is that even a feasible deal?

  5. BigBlueAL

    Brian Cronin:
    Simmons tweeted the other day how what would scare him was D’Antoni getting the job and then the Lakers trading Pau to Atlanta for Josh Smith, Kyle Korver + Petro’s expiring. Is that even a feasible deal?

    How about maybe the Knicks have found their new trading partner for Amar’e in the Lakers??

  6. jon abbey

    Amar’e for Gasol might make sense both ways, similar salaries but Gasol is signed for one year less.

  7. Brian Cronin

    Amar’e for Gasol might make sense both ways, similar salaries but Gasol is signed for one year less.

    I don’t think so. Amar’e is currently injured on the same knee that the Suns worried that he would re-injure in Year 3. The contract is uninsured (and, as you note, Amar’e is on the books for longer than Gasol). Gasol, meanwhile, has actual trade value. So no, I don’t think it would make sense for the Lakers at all. But holy shit, wouldn’t that be amazing?

  8. iserp

    D’Antoni dreams tonight:

    “Chris Duhon, Jordan Hill… not this nightmare again, no please … Holy Jesus, here comes Nash to save me again, hooray!!!!”

  9. BigBlueAL

    iserp:
    D’Antoni dreams tonight:

    “Chris Duhon, Jordan Hill… not this nightmare again, no please … Holy Jesus, here comes Nash to save me again, hooray!!!!”

    With Nash still out Duhon starts at PG in D’Antoni’s debut and gets 15 assists lol

  10. PD

    BigBlueAL:
    I know many here dont like D’Antoni but I liked him alot and wish him nothing but the best.When he joined the Knicks he was a breath of fresh air after having to put up with Isiah’s coaching.I enjoyed listening alot to D’Antoni’s interviews/press conferences and he made the 2 wasted years before the summer of 2010 a bit fun to watch at least.

    If the Knicks dont win it all this year I hope the Lakers do for D’Antoni’s sake.Im sure many here wont feel the same way though lol

    This.

    good luck mike. you might need it.

  11. PD

    Brian Cronin:
    Simmons tweeted the other day how what would scare him was D’Antoni getting the job and then the Lakers trading Pau to Atlanta for Josh Smith, Kyle Korver + Petro’s expiring. Is that even a feasible deal?

    i saw that. it makes some sense. though i would like to see how gasol would fit with what MDA puts in place.

    though j smooth doing some marion type of things and korver doing korver type of things. it also might help d12 resigning since him and smith are apparently good friends.

  12. ess-dog

    Amazing. I’m just picturing Kobe having to switch constantly with D12 on D, lol.

    They should have a pretty potent offense with the current team, but the defense… Not sure what he’ll do there.

  13. SeeWhyDee77

    Wow. Alot of pundits are down on the D’Antoni hire. Why? Well now that I think about it..I understand if it came down to him and Phil. But alot of what i’ve read on the foxsports and espns an such are acting like MDA is Randy Wittman!!! No..he doesn’t coach defense well..but with MWP, D12 and Kobe..he doesn’t really have to. His defensive principle is good enough when u have defenders of that ilk. I think it’s a great hire. One..Kobe will be giving way to STEVE NASH!! So MDA won’t hafta deal with his biggest star giving way to a relative unknown (at the time) like Lin was. And 2..they still can move Gasol for more youth to keep the ship running after the older guys have faded away and still win big with a core of Kobe, D12 and Nash. I’m actually happy for MDA..the “Melo issue” had MDA kinda stuck under a bus in a sense. He took the fall for not being able to acquiesce to Melo, when in actuality Melo should have believed in MDA more. Both guys have landed on their feet tho. Melo is having a great start, and MDA has the LA job with a phenomenal core. This just means Woodson has to be even better than he has been so far lol..first Dolan never called Phil…then the man he replaced lands with Kobe, Nash, and Howard. Let the media storm begin!!

  14. Frank

    Very interesting hire. I like it for MDA since like BBA I really enjoyed him while here- it’s not every day you have a coach give an impassioned defense of Jared Jeffries and be 100% correct.

    The question is whether this is the hire the Lakers needed. With the talent on that offense, I’m not sure whether a defense first coach who actually let Nash run whatever he wanted wouldn’t have been better- and also someone who is better at handling personalities than Mike. Seriously- what in the world was Mike Brown thinking? As I remember it, basically all he ran in Cleveland with Lebron was high PNR after high PNR, and now you have Nash and Howard and you go to a Princeton offense?!?!

    Again- and it’s been said plenty of times- offense was not the problem with this team. Defense was the problem. And I’m not sure how this helps them in that regard. Or maybe it doesn’t make any difference as Howard will be good enough when he gets back to real basketball shape to make up for how unbelievably slow footed they are at every other position. Tyson did the same for us last year, and a motivated Howard is probably a better defender than out incumbent DPOY.

    Again, I’m happy for D’Antoni- always thought he got sort of a raw deal here. Christmas will be one hell of a basketball day with possibly/hopefully the final four all playing. And if the Knicks don’t make the NBA finals, I would be absolutely glued to my TV set watching Lakers-Miami.

    Man is the NBA on a roll now less than 1 year after the lockout.

  15. Frank

    The other thing is- can the Lakers run at the pace that MDA will require? Sounds like a good way to make an old team with no depth break down. The SSOL suns were all relatively young.

    And the one guy on the lakers that doesn’t fit now is Gasol. Will e some interesting trade scenarios coming out.

  16. SeeWhyDee77

    Frank:
    Very interesting hire. I like it for MDA since like BBA I really enjoyed him while here- it’s not every day you have a coach give an impassioned defense of Jared Jeffries and be 100% correct.

    The question is whether this is the hire the Lakers needed. With the talent on that offense, I’m not sure whether a defense first coach who actually let Nash run whatever he wanted wouldn’t have been better- and also someone who is better at handling personalities than Mike. Seriously- what in the world was Mike Brown thinking? As I remember it, basically all he ran in Cleveland with Lebron was high PNR after high PNR, and now you have Nash and Howard and you go to a Princeton offense?!?!

    Again- and it’s been said plenty of times- offense was not the problem with this team. Defense was the problem. And I’m not sure how this helps them in that regard. Or maybe it doesn’t make any difference as Howard will be good enough when he gets back to real basketball shape to make up for how unbelievably slow footed they are at every other position. Tyson did the same for us last year, and a motivated Howard is probably a better defender than out incumbent DPOY.

    Again, I’m happy for D’Antoni- always thought he got sort of a raw deal here. Christmas will be one hell of a basketball day with possibly/hopefully the final four all playing.And if the Knicks don’t make the NBA finals, I would be absolutely glued to my TV set watching Lakers-Miami.

    Man is the NBA on a roll now less than 1 year after the lockout.

    I agree 200%..especially when u consider how bad MDA was in NY at handling personalities. With him there..I don’t see LA getting better on D..but I don’t see them getting worse either. They do have 4 players who have been all defense..so they have leaders on that end of the floor. Something we didn’t have until Chandler..and Woodson.

  17. SeeWhyDee77

    *continuation*
    I think this hire gives them just enough time to get hot for the playoffs. Gonna be interesting out West..especially fun to watch the Battle for LA…the Clips are really good. Don’t like the coach too much tho

  18. Frank

    You know what would be a legitimately scary trade especially if the Lakers decide to go 100% offense?

    Pau Gasol for Bargnani and Calderon. #s work. Toronto gets the best player by far but Calderon expires after this year. Not sure what the long-term cap implications would be for Toronto but Gasol + Valanciunas is nice up front especially from a mentoring standpoint, and Calderon is a little superfluous with Kyle Lowry there. Sit Bargnani in the corner and we’ve got some serious SSOL trouble. Calderon takes the reins for 20 min/game when Nash is sitting, and that keeps Duhon and Blake from ever having to play.

  19. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank:
    You know what would be a legitimately scary trade especially if the Lakers decide to go 100% offense?

    Pau Gasol for Bargnani and Calderon.#s work.

    What is this, a comedy site? You would trade Pau Gasol for Andrea Fucking Bargnani? The dude with a career WS/48 of .064? Career WP/48 of -.076 (yes, that is negative)? And it’s not even like he’s a volume scorer: his PER is below average, too. How much must you hate advanced stats to think that that is a good trade at all?

  20. SeeWhyDee77

    I don’t think anybody would make that trade..but hypothetically it would work as they would problee score 125 ppg..but that was the point of Frank’s post considering D’Antoni’s penchant for lighting up the scoreboard lol. They still hafta move Gasol tho. But what kinda trade would work on both sides?? Gasol makes a lot of money

  21. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: What is this, a comedy site? You would trade Pau Gasol for Andrea Fucking Bargnani? The dude with a career WS/48 of .064? Career WP/48 of -.076(yes, that is negative)? And it’s not even like he’s a volume scorer: his PER is below average, too. How much must you hate advanced stats to think that that is a good trade at all?

    lol – I just think Bargnani wouldn’t be a terrible fit in the Lakers’ lineup. They have the best (or near-best) rebounder and defender in the league in Howard and have a serious lack of long-range shooting. If anyone can cover up Bargnani’s weaknesses, it’s Howard.

    I know you don’t believe any of what I’m about to write, but Bargnani seriously suffered from having been option #1 on the Raptors team for so long. Camp him in the corner, have him play like a stretch 4 rather than as a crappy 5.

    Look – SSOL needs good shooters to operate successfully. In PHX MDA had Joe Johnson, Raja Bell, Q-rich, and even Marion who were high volume average-to-good 3 point shooters. In NY pre-Melo we had Gallo, Chandler, and Shawne Williams to spread the court for Amare’s PNR. There is only 1 even average 3 point shooter on LA right now (Nash) – I just don’t think SSOL will run correctly without any shooters other than Nash.

    btw I am mid-way through Stumbling on Wins right now — will have some thoughts when I finish.

  22. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: What is this, a comedy site? You would trade Pau Gasol for Andrea Fucking Bargnani? The dude with a career WS/48 of .064? Career WP/48 of -.076(yes, that is negative)? And it’s not even like he’s a volume scorer: his PER is below average, too. How much must you hate advanced stats to think that that is a good trade at all?

    Sorry, forgot to write these things —
    in addition to Bargnani, you are also getting Calderon, who is a pretty reasonable offensive PG especially as a backup playing 20 min in SSOL. And the Lakers would save huge amounts of money with Calderon falling off the cap considering Bargnani will make $10M less than Gasol next year and they are well over the tax line. These things all need to be considered on top of roster construction issues because they are real concerns whether or not fans care about the owner’s $ or not.

  23. Juany8

    Frank: Sorry, forgot to write these things –
    in addition to Bargnani, you are also getting Calderon, who is a pretty reasonable offensive PG especially as a backup playing 20 min in SSOL.And the Lakers would save huge amounts of money with Calderon falling off the cap considering Bargnani will make $10M less than Gasol next year and they are well over the tax line.These things all need to be considered on top of roster construction issues because they are real concerns whether or not fans care about the owner’s $ or not.

    Dwight Howard is a good defender, but Amar’e and Chandler showed last year (as Boozer and Noah did before them) that if you have 1 terrible big man defender, your defense becomes pretty easy to attack for an elite team. There’s also the fact that Gasol is a brilliant passing big man and a passable defender, Bargniani is going to give you shooting and literally nothing else. If they’re going to trade Gasol, it’s going to be for added depth, you’re not going to get one player for him that will upgrade the team. Josh Smith would probably be the best bet, or maybe Varejao in some kind of 3 team trade (don’t think Cleveland will want an aging Gasol)

  24. thenamestsam

    I do not think Dantoni is going to fit well on this team without a trade. Gasol is just way out of place at the 4 in SSOL. I’ve seen people say that he’s going to fit great in the Boris Diaw role, but I don’t see that at all for one simple reason that exemplifies the whole reason I don’t see this working – lack of mobility. We know Nash is obviously a willing runner, but the team around him is old, slow and shallow. Who’s he going to run the break with? Pau Gasol and MWP? Who’s going to be spacing the floor? Jodie Meeks?

    The way I see it, pretty much the only reason to make this move is a 38 (soon to be 39!) year-old PG with a broken leg. With Gasol and Howard they’re going to have a lot of the same spacing issues we had last year. They’re going to have the same problem with Kobe feeling marginalized that we had with Melo unless Dantoni is willing to be much more creative about working him in, something he has never shown. And this Lakers team’s biggest problem has been lazy defense, both in transition and in rotations. I know the Knicks D was good under Dantoni last year, but do we really think Dantoni is the guy who’s going to demand better from his guys on D?

    From where I sit it looks like they’re falling into very much the same trap the Knicks did. Getting Dantoni because you want to play “his style” is great. But you need to get him the players to do that. Phoenix always did that. The Knicks didn’t. The Lakers have to if they want this move to work out. Trading Gasol for forwards who are willing runners and who can space the floor is a must.

  25. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Frank: Sorry, forgot to write these things –
    in addition to Bargnani, you are also getting Calderon, who is a pretty reasonable offensive PG especially as a backup playing 20 min in SSOL.And the Lakers would save huge amounts of money with Calderon falling off the cap considering Bargnani will make $10M less than Gasol next year and they are well over the tax line.These things all need to be considered on top of roster construction issues because they are real concerns whether or not fans care about the owner’s $ or not.

    But you’re still paying Bargnani $11M to be a terrible player. Like, AWFUL player. Why would you want a stretch 4 for “instant offense” or whatever when the guy has been below average in PPS over the course of his career? They wouldn’t score more points with him on the floor because he’s not good at basketball. If you want a guy to be paid $11M to sit in the corner and wait for a good player to dribble penetrate, you are out of your mind. You can find good (but one-dimensional) 3PT shooters in the 2nd round of every draft. Trading one of the best PF of this generation for the worst #1 pick since Kwame Brown is a losing move.

    Isiah, is that you?

  26. thenamestsam

    Juany8: Dwight Howard is a good defender, but Amar’e and Chandler showed last year (as Boozer and Noah did before them) that if you have 1 terrible big man defender, your defense becomes pretty easy to attack for an elite team. There’s also the fact that Gasol is a brilliant passing big man and a passable defender, Bargniani is going to give you shooting and literally nothing else. If they’re going to trade Gasol, it’s going to be for added depth, you’re not going to get one player for him that will upgrade the team. Josh Smith would probably be the best bet, or maybe Varejao in some kind of 3 team trade (don’t think Cleveland will want an aging Gasol)

    I don’t see Varejao as a fit at all. Dantoni’s system does not want two non-shooting bigs on the floor at the same time. wasn’t that painfully obvious last year when Amare’s jumper disappeared and the spacing went to shit? This Lakers team has most of the size it needs even without Gasol. Howard is the main PnR partner for Nash. Jordan Hill is a fine backup for that role. MWP and Antwawn Jamison are both decent options at either the 3 or the 4 if they go small, but they’re the only 2 forwards on the roster who can shoot the 3. They need at least 3, preferably 4 guys like that. Gasol for two guys who can run the break and shoot 3s seems like the template to me.

  27. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    Juany8: Dwight Howard is a good defender, but Amar’e and Chandler showed last year (as Boozer and Noah did before them) that if you have 1 terrible big man defender, your defense becomes pretty easy to attack for an elite team. There’s also the fact that Gasol is a brilliant passing big man and a passable defender, Bargniani is going to give you shooting and literally nothing else. If they’re going to trade Gasol, it’s going to be for added depth, you’re not going to get one player for him that will upgrade the team. Josh Smith would probably be the best bet, or maybe Varejao in some kind of 3 team trade (don’t think Cleveland will want an aging Gasol)

    But since our good friends at Wages of Wins Journal have shown us that players 1 through 6 in the depth chart receive a disproportionately huge share of playoff minutes, trading for added depth would probably hurt your chances to win a title, provided that the thin bench can carry them to a playoff berth to begin with.

  28. Juany8

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: But since our good friends at Wages of Wins Journal have shown us that players 1 through 6 in the depth chart receive a disproportionately huge share of playoff minutes, trading for added depth would probably hurt your chances to win a title, provided that the thin bench can carry them to a playoff berth to begin with.

    But the Lakers don’t have a good 1-6, they have a good 1-4. If they couldswitch out the 4th wheel on that (even if you think Kobe is worse, he can’t be traded) for good players 4-6, I think that’s a win. As of right now, one of Blake, Artest, Jamison, or Meeks is going to HAVE to be out there for serious minutes. That’s a disaster the way I see it, unless Artest somehow manages to consistently hit the corner 3

  29. Frank

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: But you’re still paying Bargnani $11M to be a terrible player. Like, AWFUL player. Why would you want a stretch 4 for “instant offense” or whatever when the guy has been below average in PPS over the course of his career? They wouldn’t score more points with him on the floor because he’s not good at basketball. If you want a guy to be paid $11M to sit in the corner and wait for a good player to dribble penetrate, you are out of your mind. You can find good (but one-dimensional) 3PT shooters in the 2nd round of every draft. Trading one of the best PF of this generation for the worst #1 pick since Kwame Brown is a losing move.

    Isiah, is that you?

    blah, you ‘re probably right.
    I don’t think Bargnani is quite as bad as you do (his PER has been around 18 recently, your favorite stat), but my feeling is that his value by WoW or WS is disproportionately low because he is a bad rebounder. But if you have the BEST rebounder next to him, then it’s probably not that big a deal.

    If the Lakers could get another young asset or draft pick, it might more palatable I guess.

  30. ephus

    If the relationship between Kobe and MDA is as good and deep as the press has always portrayed, this can work. Kobe could even be called upon to ball handle at the point when Nash is on the bench.

    This team is clearly the make-or-break for 7SOL. If it wins a championship, it will be established as a path to a championship (how is that for a tautology?). If it does not win a championship, I think MDA is forced to scrap it, except for a rebuilding team that wants to get fans in the seats.

  31. Frank

    ephus: This team is clearly the make-or-break for 7SOL. If it wins a championship, it will be established as a path to a championship (how is that for a tautology?). If it does not win a championship, I think MDA is forced to scrap it, except for a rebuilding team that wants to get fans in the seats.

    Really – Dwight is the perfect player for SSOL and MDA – can run that PNR like crazy and also cover up MDA’s total lack of attention to detail on the defensive side. If he can’t win with Nash/Kobe/DH12 he can’t win with anyone. They just need one or two more shooters to really make this an unguardable team.

    Artest is a huge key to this team. I had no idea about this before looking, but prior to last year, he had 5 consecutive years of shooting >35% from 3 point range with high volume (230-380 3’s per year). If he can do that and still play pretty good D…

  32. jon abbey

    that Bargnani/Calderon deal makes some sense, definitely worth bringing up at least. “advanced stats” are close to worthless when talking about guys drastically switching roles/teams like that, sorry THCJ.

    I doubt Josh Smith is on the table simply because it’s possible for ATL to land Howard and Chris Paul to go alongside Smith in the offseason still.

  33. Frank

    jon abbey:

    I doubt Josh Smith is on the table simply because it’s possible for ATL to land Howard and Chris Paul to go alongside Smith in the offseason still.

    Not sure how/why Atlanta ever does that trade – they have basically a clean slate this summer and I think it’s really doubtful Ferry believes that trade puts them over the top into true contender status. In addition, unless there’s another team involved in some way (Which there certainly could be), there’s nothing on Atlanta’s roster that Ferry would want to trade to make the #s work. Pretty much everything other than Horford and Lou Williams is an expiring or a rookie deal (nice job Danny!).

    AND – like you said – if somehow both LA teams implode this year, CP3/Dwight/Josh could all end up in the A-T-L. Not going to happen, but seems like it’d be prudent to at least leave that as a possibility.

  34. johnlocke

    To me, the SSOL offense needs a few ingredients to be really impactful. Not sure the Lakers have all of them:
    – Speed up and down the court (Howard is fast, everyone else is mediocre to below mediocre at their position)
    – Athleticism – Howard makes the cuts
    – Multiple three point shooting threats…Nash is great, Kobe is good, Metta is average.
    – Pick and roll — Dwight and Nash should develop that chemistry, but Dwight is not really a great PNR and he doesn’t pick and pop.

    I think they’ll be exciting to watch and will on talent alone have a very good record, but not sure implementing SSOL will be complementary to the team’s talent

    ephus:
    If the relationship between Kobe and MDA is as good and deep as the press has always portrayed, this can work.Kobe could even be called upon to ball handle at the point when Nash is on the bench.

    This team is clearly the make-or-break for 7SOL.If it wins a championship, it will be established as a path to a championship (how is that for a tautology?).If it does not win a championship, I think MDA is forced to scrap it, except for a rebuilding team that wants to get fans in the seats.

  35. max fisher-cohen

    This seals the deal that Gasol will get traded. I always wondered how D’Antoni would have done if he’d had a big who could anchor a defense and still be a dominant role man. I guess we’ll see.

    I also think this move is all about making Howard happy. Jackson would have featured Gasol much more on offense due to his passing ability, asking howard to focus more on defense and rebounding. To me, that’s the most rational argument for hiring D’Antoni over PJ. Even if it costs LA wins, it almost guarantees that Howard has a great statistical season, making him more likely to re-sign.

  36. thenamestsam

    max fisher-cohen:
    To me, that’s the most rational argument for hiring D’Antoni over PJ. Even if it costs LA wins, it almost guarantees that Howard has a great statistical season, making him more likely to re-sign.

    Very true. And not only a great statistical season, but also a very enjoyable one. Nobody can deny that Dantoni’s system is probably about the funnest thing out there to play, and when you’re the guy who gets to throw down all the dunks? Even better (I imagine. Dunking has never been my game, sadly). Dwight is going to catch a lot of alley-oops.

  37. johnlocke

    Not sure that’s the case. Smart teams will just pack the paint and dare the Lakers to beat them with outside shooting. Dwight Howard can’t shoot a jump shot which makes him a far less flexible pick and roll partner than an Amare Stoudemire. They’ll just switch on the picks and double the roll-man leaving one of the shooters (Metta or Pau Gasol) open. Also I think Dwight likes to catch the ball and post, he’ll be pretty frustrated getting doubled on screen and roll action while all his teammates jack up three pointers / long jumpers.

    thenamestsam: Very true. And not only a great statistical season, but also a very enjoyable one. Nobody can deny that Dantoni’s system is probably about the funnest thing out there to play, and when you’re the guy who gets to throw down all the dunks? Even better (I imagine. Dunking has never been my game, sadly). Dwight is going to catch a lot of alley-oops.

  38. ruruland

    Hold on, people think MDA’s system is going to work with that team? Turning Kobe into a full time spot-up/ side PnR player makes sense?

    Dramatically reducing Gasol, Bryant and Howard post-ups make sense?

    They should be far and away the best post-up and ft team in the league.

    Not only does MDA’s system minimize their strengths, they don’t have the shooters to make it work.

    To say nothing of defense, it makes little sense. You think Kobe will respect a coach who takes the ball out of his hand and doesn’t teach defense?

  39. SeeWhyDee77

    I dunno..I think it will work and Kobe doesn’t hafta be a spot up guy. The beauty of it is in the half court u have arguably the best P&R combo in Nash and Howard with Kobe who can attack defenses from anywhere. I don’t think D’Antoni is dumb enough to minimize Kobe on favor of a P&R set. I think it helps Kobe because there is no way u can defend a Nash/Howard P&R with Kobe out there. They need 2 find a way 2 move Gasol for a floor spacing big. Ryan Anderson’s a good fit maybe

  40. johnlocke

    I’d love to see the Synergy stats, but I don’t think Howard is a great PnR player, he’s not going to dribble after the catch and he can’t pop and shoot. Howard is a finisher on fast breaks, offensive putbacks and post-ups.

    SeeWhyDee77:
    I dunno..I think it will work and Kobe doesn’t hafta be a spot up guy. The beauty of it is in the half court u have arguably the best P&R combo in Nash and Howard with Kobe who can attack defenses from anywhere. I don’t think D’Antoni is dumb enough to minimize Kobe on favor of a P&R set. I think it helps Kobe because there is no way u can defend a Nash/Howard P&R with Kobe out there. They need 2 find a way 2 move Gasol for a floor spacing big. Ryan Anderson’s a good fit maybe

  41. Nick C.

    So I take it that it’s unanimous D’Antoni is not going to scrap, modify or adjust his system to the talent on hand even when that talent was predicted to be 1/2 in the conference going into the season.

    Ruru I asked you this before and forgot your answer, so if you will humor me, when he coached in Denver, admittedly with a series of one year in the NBA players, did he use his System?

  42. ruruland

    Honestly too young to really remember or even care to track what he did exactly haha. That was such a dark period. Post-Issel firing it was kind of a haze for a few years.

  43. SeeWhyDee77

    johnlocke: I’d love to see the Synergy stats, but I don’t think Howard is a great PnR player, he’s not going to dribble after the catch and he can’t pop and shoot. Howard is a finisher on fast breaks, offensive putbacks and post-ups.

    U make a very interesting point. Howard is more of a great finisher rolling rather than doing anything else with the rock. But I still like a Nash-Howard P&R over what they’ve been doin this far this season. The threat of Nash should make it so much easier for LA to score. With or without D’Antoni I think the offense will be clogged with Gasol around. I’m sitting at work watching First Take and Stephen A hit the nail on the head about D’Antoni and defense. I’ve always known he left more to be desire on that end of the floor, but I never realized how consistently awful his teams were on defense. LA can’t be that bad on D with the guys they have can they?

  44. Eternal OptiKnist

    Can someone help me with something? I’m on hoopdata looking to see how Phoenix’s defense ranked under D’Antoni. The furthest i could go back was his last two seasons (06-07/07-08). In 06/07, Phoenix was in the top half of the league on opponent FG (12th stingiest in both years at 45.7% in 06/07 and 45.6% in 07/08). The other stat i’m looking at is “defensive plays” (steals, blocks and charges drawn) per 100 possessions. They are exactly middle of the pack on that at 16th on 06/07 and in the top half of the league at 13th in 07/08. I always find it hilarious when people like Stephen A Smith always knock his teams on points allowed per game..with the pace they played thats such a ridiculously useless stat! So to me, he had teams that played better defense than 1/2 of the other teams in the league! Tell me what i am missing in the numbers please. NY killed this man’s reputation, pure and simple.

  45. ruruland

    SeeWhyDee77:
    I dunno..I think it will work and Kobe doesn’t hafta be a spot up guy. The beauty of it is in the half court u have arguably the best P&R combo in Nash and Howard with Kobe who can attack defenses from anywhere. I don’t think D’Antoni is dumb enough to minimize Kobe on favor of a P&R set. I think it helps Kobe because there is no way u can defend a Nash/Howard P&R with Kobe out there. They need 2 find a way 2 move Gasol for a floor spacing big. Ryan Anderson’s a good fit maybe

    MDA didn’t explicitly rule out post-ups for Melo, he just didn’t incorporate them into the reads on offense to ensure that when Melo did them, he would break the offense and create strain with teammates.
    MDA was a cancer here post-Melo and he passive aggressively did what he could to sabatoge the situation in the last few months.

    I doubt he will change now. And now that the ball is going to be in Nash’s hands 100 percent of time, if the Lakers don’t win and win big, a Kobe Bryant situation could make this MDA’s last NBA job.

  46. ruruland

    Howard is a great PnR player in the same way Chandler is( though Howard is better finisher) neither if them do anything else but set good screens or dive to basket.

    So much of Amares abd even Gortat success in pnr with Nash with their ability to handle ball from 10 feet or make jump shoot.

    Taking away Howard and Gasol post-ups in place of spot-up shooting is not going to maximize that teams potential.

    The whole idea for Nash was that he could be Dallas Nash, not the guy MDA rode into the ground.

  47. ruruland

    Eternal OptiKnist:
    Can someone help me with something?I’m on hoopdata looking to see how Phoenix’s defense ranked under D’Antoni.The furthest i could go back was his last two seasons (06-07/07-08).In 06/07, Phoenix was in the top half of the league on opponent FG (12th stingiest in both years at 45.7% in 06/07 and 45.6% in 07/08).The other stat i’m looking at is“defensive plays” (steals, blocks and charges drawn) per 100 possessions.They are exactly middle of the pack on that at 16th on 06/07 and in the top half of the league at 13th in 07/08.I always find it hilarious when people like Stephen A Smith always knock his teams on points allowed per game..with the pace they played thats such a ridiculously useless stat!So to me, he had teams that played better defense than 1/2 of the other teams in the league!Tell me what i am missing in the numbers please.NY killed this man’s reputation, pure and simple.

    they ranked between 13th and 17th defensively

  48. Will the Thrill

    Way better than he gets credit, for in my opinion. I’d say he is known as the worst defensive coach in the league by a wide margin.

    ruruland: they ranked between 13th and 17th defensively

  49. Eternal OptiKnist

    ruruland: they ranked between 13th and 17th defensively

    between 13 and 17 defensively in those two years or do you mean in his 4.5 years there? Also, ranked on what measure? Defensive efficiency? Either way…an average defense with an above average offense led to MANY games won in both the regular season and playoffs..why are people so upset by that? How is that fake success? Because they were ousted by the one of the greatest power forwards in history coached by one of the greatest coaches in the game?

  50. Eternal OptiKnist

    Will the Thrill: Way better than he gets credit, for in my opinion. I’d say he is known as the worst defensive coach in the league by a wide margin.

    And its such a sham…it comes down to Carmelo Anthony having needed a scapegoat for his failures and getting one…and the media in this market allowing it.

  51. Juany8

    Eternal OptiKnist: And its such a sham…it comes down to Carmelo Anthony having needed a scapegoat for his failures and getting one…and the media in this market allowing it.

    Since Woodson took over, the Knicks are on a 60+ win pace in the regular season, most of which was accomplished with a crippled Baron Davis as the point guard. The offense the Knicks are playing right now is miles better than anything the Knicks had last season, and this is with a coach who was famous for “iso-joe” like having Mike Bibby at point guard gave him too many options. I for one am very glad D’Antoni got fired, he totally quit on this team and had pretty much no idea how to coach defense.

  52. cgreene

    I am not a fan of the way MDA coached this team AT ALL. I think that he will change is approach in LA because his survival instinct will kick in and he will put post ups into the game plan. Also Kobe can be the ball man in the PnR with DH and Nash can be the shooter waiting in the corner where he could be deadly because if he gets closed out on he’s a great ball handler with vision and will catch the defense in rotation. I’d run that a lot if I were MDA.

  53. Eternal OptiKnist

    Juany8: Since Woodson took over, the Knicks are on a 60+ win pace in the regular season, most of which was accomplished with a crippled Baron Davis as the point guard. The offense the Knicks are playing right now is miles better than anything the Knicks had last season, and this is with a coach who was famous for “iso-joe” like having Mike Bibby at point guard gave him too many options. I for one am very glad D’Antoni got fired, he totally quit on this team and had pretty much no idea how to coach defense.

    I think this is such crap. When we had our pre-melo team in 10/11, this system was working. It ceased to work when we lost the personnel to make it work in a trade. And then the following season, that problem was exacerbated by a player (conceivably team leader) decided he would not buy in…admittedly. I’m personally thrilled that Melo has found his disciplinarian ‘daddy’ coach to get his respect. Its clear that he needs a disciplinarian…he’s not a self-motivated individual. I love the focus on defense and I love the team we have right now but D’antoni had only 0.5 seasons to make this work.

  54. Will the Thrill

    Juany8: The offense the Knicks are playing right now is miles better than anything the Knicks had last season

    Also, the Knicks roster right now is miles better than the roster D’antoni had when his system actually worked in 10/11. I think D’antoni is a good coach in the right situation, but a bad coach without the right personnel who won’t buy-in. This is obviously a major flaw in coaching, but his system definitely works (offensively) when given the chance.

  55. maxwell_3g

    Brian Cronin:
    Simmons tweeted the other day how what would scare him was D’Antoni getting the job and then the Lakers trading Pau to Atlanta for Josh Smith, Kyle Korver + Petro’s expiring. Is that even a feasible deal?

    no way that atlanta does that. as someone who lives in the A, the city has really embraced josh smith as their leading man and no way they trade a young talent for a declining player (also a white player- Atlanta is and proudly is a black city) who has just as big a contract. i to think the interesting question is whether LA would have any interest in amare

  56. Frank

    Eternal OptiKnist: I think this is such crap. When we had our pre-melo team in 10/11, this system was working. It ceased to work when we lost the personnel to make it work in a trade.

    I had as much fun watching the Gallo/Amare/Wilson Chandler Knicks as anyone, but as I remember it, that team was 26-24 by the time of the Melo trade. That isn’t exactly lighting the Eastern Conference on fire. I don’t think we should over-romanticize that part of Knick history, as enjoyable as it was.

  57. maxwell_3g

    by the way, no more mentioning how chandler gets in amare’s way on offense on this sight. lets just hope the LAL dont think this through, as obviously that problem will be twice as bad with a howard/ amare matching. lets just assume that the LAL read this site.

  58. Juany8

    maxwell_3g:
    by the way, no more mentioning how chandler gets in amare’s way on offense on this sight.lets just hope the LAL dont think this through, as obviously that problem will be twice as bad with a howard/ amare matching.lets just assume that the LAL read this site.

    If the Knicks get Pau Gasol for Amar’e straight up (maybe even throw in Brewer and Thomas) Then I think this team can win a championship. Never happening though

  59. Frank

    Juany8: If the Knicks get Pau Gasol for Amar’e straight up (maybe even throw in Brewer and Thomas) Then I think this team can win a championship. Never happening though

    LOL – the GM who somehow managed to land Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and Steve Nash in shockingly one-sided deals is going to turn around and trade Gasol for an injured, poorly producing guy with the worst contract in the NBA? The fact that we’re even entertaining this tells us it is time for another real game. What’s up with this 3-4 days off between games anyway?

  60. johnlocke

    Look at the schedule man… the rest of this month is pretty brutal in terms of number of games played…with vast majority of the games being on the road. We” know a lot more about this team by the end of the month.

    Frank: LOL – the GM who somehow managed to land Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and Steve Nash in shockingly one-sided deals is going to turn around and trade Gasol for an injured, poorly producing guy with the worst contract in the NBA? The fact that we’re even entertaining this tells us it is time for another real game.What’s up with this 3-4 days off between games anyway?

  61. yellowboy90

    Frank:What’s up with this 3-4 days off between games anyway?

    I think it helps this team its like a continuation of the pre-season/training camp except everyone is healthy minus STAT. So everyone has time to gel.

  62. jon abbey

    wow, there’s still one D’Antoni on the Knicks apologist out there, I guess his brother has plenty of free time these days. :)

  63. max fisher-cohen

    People wanting to ascribe the change in the team’s success to Woodson are crazy. Woodson has had a serious impact — it’s true. I don’t know that it’s so much Woodson as the situation Anthony is in that has motivated him though. MDA was weak due to the expiring contract and therefore an easy scapegoat. There’s no one left who can play that role, so Anthony knows he’ll take the blame.

    The rest of the change can be attributed to the fact that as bad as Baron Davis was, he was a big upgrade over Douglas and Bibby, and then the Knicks actually got some guys who could make threes at better than a 30% clip: Novak and Smith. Add in the fact that Stoudemire was out, and that makes the difference.

    I’m not saying D’Antoni did a great job – he did a bad job of massaging egos — but I found the way management treated him in terms of promising to build a team for him if he coached a crap team for his first two years, then crapping on his head with the Melo trade, to be far more offensive, especially given the PG he needed — Deron Williams — was apparently available.

  64. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    maxwell_3g: no way that atlanta does that.as someone who lives in the A, the city has really embraced josh smith as their leading man and no way they trade a young talent for a declining player (also a white player-Atlanta is and proudly is a black city) who has just as big a contract.i to think the interesting question is whether LA would have any interest in amare

    This sounds like total conjecture to me. No one is safe in the NBA. I’m sure that that in New Orleans, there was a dude just like you who had a lot of buddies who liked Chris Paul and “embraced” him or whatever, but it doesn’t stop a franchise from making decisions, and often bad ones.

  65. jon abbey

    except Josh Smith grew up in Georgia, Chris Paul didn’t grow up in Louisiana (North Carolina).

    the regional ties (Howard is from ATL, Smith was his best man at his wedding) are one of the main reason a potential Howard/Smith/Paul pairing next year in ATL makes sense.

  66. Z-man

    max fisher-cohen: People wanting to ascribe the change in the team’s success to Woodson are crazy. Woodson has had a serious impact — it’s true. I don’t know that it’s so much Woodson as the situation Anthony is in that has motivated him though. MDA was weak due to the expiring contract and therefore an easy scapegoat. There’s no one left who can play that role, so Anthony knows he’ll take the blame.The rest of the change can be attributed to the fact that as bad as Baron Davis was, he was a big upgrade over Douglas and Bibby, and then the Knicks actually got some guys who could make threes at better than a 30% clip: Novak and Smith. Add in the fact that Stoudemire was out, and that makes the difference.I’m not saying D’Antoni did a great job – he did a bad job of massaging egos — but I found the way management treated him in terms of promising to build a team for him if he coached a crap team for his first two years, then crapping on his head with the Melo trade, to be far more offensive, especially given the PG he needed — Deron Williams — was apparently available.

    I couldn’t disagree more. What other coach has taken a job on the basis of a promise that a team will be built for him? His job is to coach whoever the team brings on board to the best of his ability.

    Who knew that Deron Williams was available? Or that Utah wanted what we would have offered? Or that he would have signed an extension with us? Or that he would have made us a better team than we are with Melo and a coach who understands how to best utilize him?

    Four games is not a season, but this team has not played better basketball on both sides of the ball since the Ewing era. Do you seriously believe that they play this well with D’Antoni still coaching this team rather than Woodson, or with Deron rather than Melo?

  67. Eternal OptiKnist

    jon abbey: wow, there’s still one D’Antoni on the Knicks apologist out there, I guess his brother has plenty of free time these days. :)

    No apologist here :) I’ll be the first one to tell you that I much prefer the brand basketball we’re playing right now to what D’Antoni would have brought even if successful; a Knick fan through and through..give me defense…ugly, sustainable defense an rebounding any day of the week and i’m happy. What i am saying is that D’Antoni never had a chance here. My loyalty is to the Knicks…if satan could guide us to a ring, good riddance to any coach that came before him.

  68. johnlocke

    We are the #1 defensive team in the NBA so far, Woodson/coaching is largely responsible for that. Rotations are precise and smart switching and unswitching is happening, that’s about good coaching not just effort. Yes, Carmelo is buying in and playing defense but he did that last season and he’s not on the torrid, efficient clip we saw last season. He’s shooting 1% better from 2 and 1% better from three point land, while shooting 5% worse from three point land and averaging 2 less assists. He’s scoring more but averaging the 3rd most shots per game of any season in his career. I’m with you on the improved PG play and the low turnover rate (as ruru pointed out before pretty much anyone else on this board I think), but defense + better PGs > improved/motivated Melo… in terms of the record

    max fisher-cohen:
    People wanting to ascribe the change in the team’s success to Woodson are crazy. Woodson has had a serious impact — it’s true. I don’t know that it’s so much Woodson as the situation Anthony is in that has motivated him though. MDA was weak due to the expiring contract and thereforean easy scapegoat. There’s no one left who can play that role, so Anthony knows he’ll take the blame.

    The rest of the change can be attributed to the fact that as bad as Baron Davis was, he was a big upgrade over Douglas and Bibby, and then the Knicks actually got some guys who could make threes at better than a 30% clip: Novak and Smith. Add in the fact that Stoudemire was out, and that makes the difference.

  69. Eternal OptiKnist

    jon abbey: wow, there’s still one D’Antoni on the Knicks apologist out there, I guess his brother has plenty of free time these days. :)

    And i just wanted to point out WITH DATA that D’Antoni teams (at least the lat two years he was there, based on the data i could find) were average and slighly above average defensively based on the team rankings. Since i posted those numbers they have not yet been refuted. As a business analyst i’ve always found it so funny for people to quote points allowed by those Phoenix teams as an argument for horrible defense. Peel the onion just one layer folks.

  70. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    jon abbey:
    except Josh Smith grew up in Georgia, Chris Paul didn’t grow up in Louisiana (North Carolina).

    the regional ties (Howard is from ATL, Smith was his best man at his wedding) are one of the main reason a potential Howard/Smith/Paul pairing next year in ATL makes sense.

    There you go. That makes more sense.

  71. maxwell_3g

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: This sounds like total conjecture to me. No one is safe in the NBA. I’m sure that that in New Orleans, there was a dude just like you who had a lot of buddies who liked Chris Paul and “embraced” him or whatever, but it doesn’t stop a franchise from making decisions, and often bad ones.

    OK, i stand corrected, aside from atlanta doing something contrary to common sense, the city’s wishes, and the direction of the roster, they wont trade josh smith for gasol. i guess its also possible that danny ainge starts smoking crackm tonight and trades rondo for jj redick and big baby davis too, but i think common sense can rule out extremely irrational moves, like the hawks trading josh smith. you are right my firend, i suppose anything is possible. thank you for noting that

  72. Kurt

    A few of my cents (more than two):
    1. Like Max Fisher Cohen, I also thought that D’Antoni would do best when his roll man is also a rim protector. The reason it didn’t work as much last year before Linsanity is because the point guards were so horrible and because Amar’e’s mid-range left him. I believe Gasol is pretty consistent from mid-range, even if he can’t regularly hit the 3.

    2. Even if Kobe isn’t exactly Ray Alan, he’d still space the floor just as much. Kobe is so feared that his defenders won’t want to help out to strongly off him. Also, even at his age he can still drive when defenders aggressively close out on him.

    3. Hollinger points out that Artest is still a good spot up 3-point shooter.

    4. D’Antoni seems to do better when his vets serve as leaders. He easily has that in both Kobe and Nash. Even though I think Woodson seems to be a better coach than D’Antoni, his job is still much easier with Jason Kidd to help out Chandler, as well as a much more mature Melo.

    5. Howard has developed a Tim Duncan-style bank-shot. It obviously doesn’t space the floor like a 3-point shooter, but it’s not as if Howard necessarily clogs the lane because he can’t do anything outside the paint. That was one of the problems last year, as Chandler was not seen as capable as doing any damage outside the basket area (though now he seems to be trying the mid-range on occasion).

    6. On a similar note, take a look at the highlights from the Miami-Grizzlies game. There are at least 3 plays I saw with Marc Gasol serving as the screener and then passing to either Randolph for a layup or a 3-pointer. Gasol might be a step slower than his younger brother, but it could still work with him.

  73. jon abbey

    Eternal OptiKnist: And i just wanted to point out WITH DATA that D’Antoni teams (at least the lat two years he was there, based on the data i could find) were average and slighly above average defensively based on the team rankings.Since i posted those numbers they have not yet been refuted.As a business analyst i’ve always found it so funny for people to quote points allowed by those Phoenix teams as an argument for horrible defense.Peel the onion just one layer folks.

    yep, Hollinger talked about that today too, that the Phoenix teams were average defensively, not awful as people seem to think.

    my problem with D’Antoni was actually more on the offensive end. for a guy who was touted as the greatest offensive basketball coach ever (seriously, Bill Simmons wrote this in his book), he was stunningly inflexible when it came to fitting personnel into his system, as well as seemingly entirely incapable of diagramming a successful play out of a time out.

  74. Eternal OptiKnist

    jon abbey: yep, Hollinger talked about that today too, that the Phoenix teams were average defensively, not awful as people seem to think.

    my problem with D’Antoni was actually more on the offensive end. for a guy who was touted as the greatest offensive basketball coach ever (seriously, Bill Simmons wrote this in his book), he was stunningly inflexible when it came to fitting personnel into his system, as well as seemingly entirely incapable of diagramming a successful play out of a time out.

    I’m glad that’s been pointed out..I feel that us ‘smart’ NY fans are suffering from short memories a bit. I agree with you on the inability to make things work offensively. The defense after we added chandler was quite good by the #s before woody took over last year..it was the offense that sucked. Was it the lack of a PG? Was it him pouting? That confounded me..

  75. Juany8

    What everyone is ignoring is that only 16 teams make the playoffs. If the Suns were an average team defensively in the entire league, they were probably amongst the worst defensive teams in the playoffs. When you are supposed to be a contender, being average defensively isn’t very acceptable. There’s also the fact that the Knicks were the best defensive team in the league after Woodson took over, and they are continuing that this season. So unless Woodson is an outright fantastic, top of the line coach, D’Antoni is looking pretty bad. Doesn’t help that Woodson has been excellent at managing egos on this team and D’Antoni was terrible. Forget about Melo, who could honestly say they would have foreseen JR playing at the ridiculous level he is right now? You really think JR Smith was happy with D’Antoni last season?

  76. Brian Cronin

    yep, Hollinger talked about that today too, that the Phoenix teams were average defensively, not awful as people seem to think.

    my problem with D’Antoni was actually more on the offensive end. for a guy who was touted as the greatest offensive basketball coach ever (seriously, Bill Simmons wrote this in his book), he was stunningly inflexible when it came to fitting personnel into his system, as well as seemingly entirely incapable of diagramming a successful play out of a time out.

    Yeah, agreed. The defense was, what, top ten in the league when D’Antoni was the coach, right? The offense was much more annoying last season.

  77. ruruland

    Juany8:
    What everyone is ignoring is that only 16 teams make the playoffs. If the Suns were an average team defensively in the entire league, they were probably amongst the worst defensive teams in the playoffs. When you are supposed to be a contender, being average defensively isn’t very acceptable. There’s also the fact that the Knicks were the best defensive team in the league after Woodson took over, and they are continuing that this season. So unless Woodson is an outright fantastic, top of the line coach, D’Antoni is looking pretty bad. Doesn’t help that Woodson has been excellent at managing egos on this team and D’Antoni was terrible. Forget about Melo, who could honestly say they would have foreseen JR playing at the ridiculous level he is right now? You really think JR Smith was happy with D’Antoni last season?

    Right. Call me a Carmelo Anthony worshiper, but I know that a re-commitment to defense did not, by itself, change the Knicks from the 10th or so best defensive team to the best defensive team in the NBA.

    The Knicks defensive improvement under Woodson was akin to adding a couple of great defensive players, and that did not happen last year (in fact, Shumpert and Chandler missed time)

    Nor did Carmelo Anthony alone change things on offense.

    So what happened?

    Well, as a few of us said at the time, there was a new commitment to defense and extra energy from everybody on the roster. Carmelo Anthony, perhaps lacking self-awareness or perhaps saying the things leaders should say, in a way took responsibility for past transgressions by admitting he hadn’t been giving it the extra effort that is needed to play great defense.

    But, again Eternal, it just so happens that everyone played better when MDA left.

    How is that not an indictment on the head coach?

  78. ruruland

    Eternal OptiKnist: I’m glad that’s been pointed out..I feel that us ‘smart’ NY fans are suffering from short memories a bit. I agree with you on the inability to make things work offensively. The defense after we added chandler was quite good by the #s before woody took over last year..it was the offense that sucked. Was it the lack of a PG? Was it him pouting? That confounded me..

    Again, this rhetoric plays against MDA.

    The offense improved after MDA left not because Woodson scrapped everything, but because Woodson kept the things that worked and then added things that used his player’s strengths.

    He starting employing Carmelo Anthony post-ups into the offense, which resulted in one of the highest assisted percentage plays in the NBA last year.

  79. ruruland

    Eternal OptiKnist: And i just wanted to point out WITH DATA that D’Antoni teams (at least the lat two years he was there, based on the data i could find) were average and slighly above average defensively based on the team rankings.Since i posted those numbers they have not yet been refuted.As a business analyst i’ve always found it so funny for people to quote points allowed by those Phoenix teams as an argument for horrible defense.Peel the onion just one layer folks.

    On the whole, his Suns teams were slighlty below average in the regular season, and that was with one of the game’s best defenders in the NBA in his prime (Marion).

    The Suns were average during the regular season only because they induced teams into their pace, which turned into a lot of bad, rushed shots.
    Teams that went half-court against the Suns destroyed them, which is why they were so atrocious defensively in the playoffs.

    Do me a favor and post the Suns playoff efficiency numbers the years MDA coached. It’s sort of shocking how bad they were.

    IF they were simply below average in the playoffs they’d have two rings, that’s how great Nash/Amar’e and shooters were in that system, even against the best defensive teams.

    Please, check it out yourself because my post didn’t go through:http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/PHO/2005.html

  80. SeeWhyDee77

    I credit the offensive improvement to a starting backcourt of Kidd and Felton as well as an uber efficent Brewer. Watch him..whether or not he gets the ball he dutifully goes about his job and this in turn rubs off and keeps guys in the right spots. I credit the defense to an engaged Melo, Brewer and the smart vets that we’ve added. Now Tyson’s voice isn’t the only one out there. Guys are communicating out there. I don’t expect our D to continue to be tops in the league but we certainly have themakings of a #1 defense. What I love the most about this team so far is everyone knows and accepts their roles. Hopefully Stat and Shump are taking notice and falls in line when they get back. Stat has to realize that while we do need a second scorer, we don’t need him trying to get 20 ppg. The threat is what’s important. If he feeds off of Melo and stays within what Woodson needs, he’ll get 20 ppg easy. Our pg play is very efficient and a big of his ilk needs that to succeed. He’s just gotta believe in what we’re doing and swallow that pill and accept that Melo truly is the #1 guy..as he should be. Those 2 guys are too talented to squander time on the court together the way they have.

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