Wesley Johnson’s Emergence Validating Merits of Mike D’Antoni’s System

Amid a Los Angeles Lakers season maligned by uncertainty, injured stars and muddled rotations, there has been Mike D'Antoni, titleholder of a system renowned for working miracles.

Before arriving in Hollywood, it was D'Antoni's point guard-transformative offense that pillaged through the depths of the NBA and turned Jeremy Lin into a global phenomenon. Last season, it was his ideals that helped Earl Clark become an everyday player, worthy of being handed a three-year contract by the Cleveland Cavaliers

This year, while navigating a labyrinth of obstacles, there has been Wesley Johnson, the former top-five pick turned draft bust.

Within D'Antoni's free-reigning system, Johnson has started to flourish, showing frequent glimpses of the player he was projected to be. In doing so, he's validated his spot on the Lakers. Earned his place in the starting lineup.

Proved once again that there's something to this Mike D'Antoni guy after all.


Always Something There

Pretending as if there wasn't always something to Magic Mike's system is inane.

Chastise him for his defensive disregard if you must, but he knows how to coach a spectacular offense. More importantly, he knows how to coach athleticism and make the most of exotic rosters.

General manager Mitch Kupchak pieced together a core worthy of the lottery this summer. Not to say he had a choice—he didn't. Dwight Howard left, Kobe Bryant was injured, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol weren't getting any younger and the Lakers had no money to spend. When you consider what he had to work with, Kupchak did a bang-up job.

But that doesn't make this, as Bleacher Report's Howard Beck called them, "largely nameless" Lakers team great. Or even good. Somehow, they are. Good enough, at least.

Los Angeles currently ranks 17th in offensive efficiency, uncharacteristic of a D'Antoni-coached squa...

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