13 games into the season, a team led by Kemba Walker, a 19 year old in Michael-Kidd Gilchrist, and Byron Mullens(BYRON MULLENS!!!!!!!) has a better record than a team led by Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol. That is a serious problem for the Lakers and it's a lot more complicated than it seems.
Kobe is averaging 27.5, 5 and 5 on 50% shooting(by far the best of his career) and the Lakers are still under .500. Over the past two games, Dwight Howard has played a total of 80 minutes, and in those 80 minutes, he has scored 14 points on 11 shots with 13 rebounds. That is absolutely unacceptable for the most dominant center in the game today. Those numbers should be his stats in the middle of the third quarter, let alone 2 whole games where he played 41 and 39 minutes. I know D'Antoni doesn't like using the post in hs system, but how do you just ingnore the most dominant force in the game? Did Jerry Buss and Kupchak hire him with the expectationt that he would just ignore the most dominant big man in the game and one of the most proficient post bigs in the game in Pau Gasol(Who also has totals of 14 and 13 in the past two games) D'Antoni needs to change his system to accomodate Gasol and Howard. He needs to realize that the team's best change is to feed it into the post and play inside out. Antawn Jamison has taken more shots than Howard these past two games(in less than half as many minutes), Metta World Peace has taken more shots than both Gasol and Howard. That needs to change.
D'Antoni need to run the ball up, space the floor, plant Howard or Gasol in the middle of the post, and tell them to do work. Until he does that, Kobe won't be able to get easier shots. They will continue to lose until that changes. The Lakers ae in serious trouble, and their current personel does not fit D'Antoni's system at all. Now whether Nash is able to change that remains to be seen, but for now the Lakers need to figure somthing out, or else things could go south really quickly.
It is sickening how they skipped on Phil Jackson.
The Lakers have been disappointing, but I can't say a team is in serious trouble during the month of November.
For real and how many "Lakers are in trouble" posts are necessary before people realize that everyone already knows the Lakers are not playing as good as they probably should be.
Rondo last night: 8 rebounds, Gasol and Howard: combined for 8 rebounds. So yeah they are in some trouble
Aamir. I agree with everything you're implying, but Indy's right. It's only November dude. Also, they are missing one piece in that puzzle: Steve Nash. He will make sure Dwight and Gasol get involved. Yes: D'Antoni may have to make some adjustments for the bigs, but the bigs have to some responsibility to adapt as well. And regarding Antawn, maybe D' Antoni is trying to get him in the rhythm, back to a double-digit scorer he was for the teams he played with in the past.
The have lost the last couple but being 6-7 isn't a crisis again yet, they aren't going to fire Coach D'Antoni ! Jerry Buss is not Roman Abramovich ( Chelsea Football club owner now on his 9th manager in 9 years). The team need to move the ball around and so with Steve Nash they have the best PG to do it. The real problem could be if the team does not start to get above .500 and with Kobe dropping 27/28ppg, he will only take it for so long.
On a better note, Kobe is only 159 points off 30,000 regular season career points, so in say 5 to 7 games time, a historic landmark should be reached.
The run and gun style doesn't work for a team that the majority of its starters aren't athletic three point shooters. Mike D'Antoni isn't going to take advantage of having one of the best skilled PF in Gasol either in the post, it's has never been his style. He is only going to use Dwight on fastbreak and pick and roll only. This is a one dimensional coach ah la Don Nelson that do not like the post game. I think if Mike D'Antoni could get away with it without getting heat, he would bench Gasol for Jamison.
Damn, my grammer is awful like usually. I really need to read it before posting it
Nah, however they are jeapordizing their homecourt advantage very early in the season. I don't think this team will have a better record than atleast three teams I can think of. They will put up a ton of points, but come playoff time, I have a feeling they will get bounced out early.
Still early and no Nash.
But what does concern me is how pau and Dwight will work together in dantonjis offense. The 2 games dantoni has been on the bench, those 2 have looked like crap. The positive is the bench guys are much more comfortable under mike. Morris, Meeks, duhon and especially Jamison have looked better with this up and down style that focuses on taking the quick open shot. But that doesn't leave room for both pau and Dwight to work down low.
And I have to say, I have criticized Dwight as not being a top 5 player before on here and defended it by saying he is not a reliable go to guy on offense. And this year further emphasizes my opinion. They do go to him, but he can't make ft's and even when he gets by his man, I have never seen any player in the history of the game who gets stripped as much as he does. He brings it down low and gets stripped constantly, He's at close to 4 turnovers per game as a center. That's terrible. His defense is great but not good enough to call him a top 5 player.
Here's a few thoughts...
The Lakers team defense has been pathetic all season. They lack urgency and hustle.
Lets face it, Gasol is an unathletic passive center who Can shoot outside of the paint. Howard is a center. The Lake show are starting 2 centers. The 2 most recent championships won by the Lakers with Gasol and Bryant as the main pieces had an injured Bynum for both runs... and when he returned in the playoffs Bynum came off the bench.
Spacing is obviously an issue. Howard and Gasol have to learn to stay away from each other when they're on offense. Gasol should be playing high post on the opposite side of the court that Howard is on. When Howard changes sides, so should Gasol. If this results in Gasol being too slow to get to the hoop and only taking jumpers then you can't play Gasol and Howard together in this system. Bring Gasol off the bench or trade him.
D'Antoni's system is based on an athletic 4-1 lineup. You have 4 outside players capable of shooting 3's and one bigman to use in the pick and roll. Everyone needs to be able to run. Having Gasol and Howard in the same painted area cancel's out the pick and rolls effectiveness because one of their defenders can slide over to help out after the play has developed. (Lebron and Anthony were your 4 men in this system in the last olympics)...not a Gasol type. With the Suns it was Marion.
Gasol is so tired from all the running he has no gas left to run in the half court, make an aggressive move on offense, or to cover his man effectively on defense. If Gasol can't beat his man up the court on offense then "the break" will always be a 4on5 at best.
When Nash returns and the rest of the Lakers see how the system is supposed to be run, it will become more clear to the rest of the team.
I'm not going to worry until they get Nash back, officially learn each others on-court habits, and get Howard's health back to 100%. The biggest issue w/ LAL stems from their inability to get second chance points or play a lick of D. Both of which are issues that are largely occurring due to Dwight playing at only 75%. Look at his stat sheet. One game he looks like Dwight of old, and the next he pulls in a whopping 7 and 4. Not Dwight like. Honestly, I'm loving that they're sucking. Similar top last years Heat starting off so poorly until everyone got the feel for what they were going to do offensively/defensively.
Dwight Howard is a poison clause. If he is on your team your team will die. As for Nash, he doesnt play well with a plug in the middle(Dwight). They will still make the playoffs but barely.
You do have a point about Dwight Howard bringing the ball low and getting stripped, but you have to give him more time to get healthy. He's barely even 75-80% right now. He's not exploding like he was in Orlando just yet. He's better than what he's shown and that's at both ends.
hope thats the case indiana. I know he will only get better. But i think his scoring numbers wont be consistent. if defenses shut him down, you have to go away from him. Hes just not a guy you keep going to no matter what when he doesnt have it going.
Lakers won big today, with Jamison, Kobe and Artest sharing the scoring lead with 19. Dwight had 15 and Pau had 13.
D'Antoni's system can work to perfection, but my problem is that he's leaving so much on the table with the low post presence of Gasol and Howard. They can definatly win a tittle, but to do so they're going to have to find a balance between D'Antoni's system and feeding the post.
Just wait for Nash.
They need someone to run the show with this offense. Kobe isn't exactly a dimer and Dwight isn't going to create his own shot all of the time
When Nash gets back, Kobe can focus on scoring at will while Howard and Gasol can play off both Kobe and Nash.