Will Lakers’ Transitional 2013-14 Season Give Mike D’Antoni a Fair Shot in LA?

Mike D'Antoni was set up to fail last season, and he didn't exactly do himself any favors during the Los Angeles Lakers' disastrous 2012-13, either. But after surviving one of the most scrutinized NBA campaigns in history, D'Antoni is going to get a much better chance to prove he's capable of running things in Hollywood this year.


Training Camp: A Novel Idea

The Lakers spent the summer of 2012 trying to learn Mike Brown's Princeton offense, only to see the front office scrap the entire plan—coach, strategy and all—a mere five games into the season.

So when D'Antoni took over shortly thereafter, he found himself coaching a team that was totally unprepared for his signature offensive style. Right from the get-go, L.A.'s new coach was playing from behind.

It's far from a certainty that the Lakers will look like D'Antoni's high-octane Phoenix Suns this season; the current roster still lacks the kind of outside shooting and athleticism that made those teams so dangerous. But at least D'Antoni will have a chance to spend a full training camp determining how many elements of his preferred style will be useful with the Lakers' personnel.

D'Antoni's flexibility was one of a handful of overlooked positives last season.

By the time the Lakers got the hang of how their coach wanted them to play last year, it was clear that the roster wasn't cut out to run the same sets that worked in Phoenix. So D'Antoni scrapped his usual plan and tried to build an attack around the Lakers' strengths.

L.A. went 28-12 down the stretch after D'Antoni commendably put aside his long-held offensive beliefs. So, while plenty of D'Antoni's decisions last year deserve some criticism, it's not really accurate to call him out for being a gimmicky offensive coach. Based on his adaptations last year, it seems likely that D'Antoni will find a way to implement tactics in a full tra...

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