Is the Mike D’Antoni Offense Finally Working for the LA Lakers?

The Los Angeles Lakers tailored the roster to fit Mike D’Antoni’s coaching philosophy, and as a result, the offense looks more in tune with his style of play.

A year prior to the 2013-14 campaign, the Purple and Gold had a cast of elite players grouped together, but the coaching staff struggled to incorporate all of their talents. That has since changed, but it’s still important to understand what prompted the shift.


The offense that was…

In what was an amazing management coup, Los Angeles boasted a team featuring Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. However, Mike D’Antoni’s spread pick-and-roll system was not ideal from a stylistic standpoint with the pieces in place.

For instance, the Lakers had issues pairing Gasol and Howard together on the floor because neither were classic spacers. The Spaniard has three-point range, but that is not the best way to utilize him.

Still, he spent far too many possessions camped out away from the rim in an effort to accommodate Howard’s post-ups. Also, Bryant was given far too much command of the offense, which was problematic at times for his comrades.

The five-time world champion was tasked with handling the ball and directing traffic for his teammates. The main issue with that concept was Bryant’s scoring mentality.

Given that he has never been shy about putting up shots, he did just that in 2012-13. Thus, when players came off screens or rolled towards the hoop expecting passes, those plays were not always executed. Instead, the four-time All-Star Game MVP called his own number.

Here is an example of this:

What’s fascinating about the failed experiment from last season is the fact that Los Angeles had a top-10 offense. They were a low-turnover team and did a good job of crashing the glass for second-chance opportunitie...

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