Breaking Down Mike D’Antoni’s Go-To Offensive Set for Lakers

The arrival of Mike D'Antoni as Los Angeles Lakers head coach has brought a new offense and new roles for his players. Gone is the Princeton offense with its balanced floor and emphasis on high-post play; in is D'Antoni's spread attack that focuses on an open floor with a lot of weak-side attacking. 

The new offensive scheme has brought a fast-paced, high-octane approach, and the results have been (mostly) high point totals and better results in the win-loss column. And while the overarching theme to the Lakers attack is definitely an increased tempo and emphasis on open-court basketball, the key play in the half court is the pick-and-roll.

The Lakers have versatile personnel who can run this pick-and-roll action very effectively. And with those players, they can also explore a variety of options within the action to produce breathtaking results:

On this pick-and-roll, the Lakers set up with Dwight Howard in the post while Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol are up high on the left wing. Gasol and Kobe then initiate the pick-and-roll while Howard fights for deeper position down low. When Kobe turns the corner, he attacks the paint, draws multiple defenders (including Howard's man) and then floats a lob pass up to Howard that he finishes with the monster dunk. 

Note that Howard was so open because Kobe is such a threat to score coming off the screen. Coming off the pick and flying into the teeth of the defense is a position Kobe is more than comfortable with, and because of that fact, the defense has to respect him when he's attacking the paint.

When Kobe is in attack mode coming off the screen, few are better than him at creating a shot:

Here you see Kobe set up high in the middle of the floor with Howard approaching to run a direct pick-and-roll. Howard slips the screen but the effect is the same: Kobe goes hard to his right hand and gets his man off balanc...

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