Will LA Lakers Put Mike D’Antoni on the Hot Seat After Inaugural Season?

I'm not sure if Los Angeles Lakers' coach Mike D'Antoni is officially on the NBA's hot seat at this moment, but unless the league's most glamorous team has taken a secret oath of mediocrity, the sweat should be trickling down coach No-D'Antoni's neck by now.

It's one thing to fail on the big stage in New York with a team which is only really popular, and relevant because of its home city's size, reach and allure but how can you explain being embroiled in the postseason fight of your life with a starting line-up that includes four future Hall of Famers in the land of champions?

Well, injuries, chemistry and age have been offered as valid excuses for the Lakers' historic under-achieving season. All of those reasons contain merit but even after serious consideration something still doesn't add up.

Maybe it's the fact that the Lakers are one of the NBA's worst defensive teams, despite being anchored by one of the best defensive players in the league, or maybe it's because that player's coach has no real understanding of the importance of good defense at all.

The Lakers have always been one of the NBA's standard-carriers when it comes to offense, but one of the most underrated aspects of their success during the franchise's history is their solid defense.

Magic Johnson's Showtime Lakers may have dazzled fans with the beauty and precision of their fast break, but would the Lakers have won five titles during that era without an athletic, ball-hawking defense?

Tex Winter's scheme and Phil Jackson's philosophy were great innovations, but how many titles would have Shaq and Kobe won without a foundation built on solid defensive principles?

Pau Gasol is not nearly the physically dominating defensive presence that Shaq was, but the Lakers still managed to win two more titles with Gasol's talent and the defensive principles installed by Jackson.

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