(05/November/2013 9:53 PM)
Thanks, Darius,Good to see some nuances in dinscssious about the Lakers. Most of us agree that the Laker organization has put together an interesting roster that could be molded into a championship team. The challenges of this molding process has already cost Mike Brown his job and Mike D is struggling. Here are my components of concern:Balance: the team must have a balance between offense and defense, balanced scoring, and predictable substitute patterns.Flexibility: the team needs to adapt this balance appropriately to defeat fundamentally different opponents. Sometimes that wuill be through tempo, sometimes through emphasis, sometimes through substitution patterns.cohesion: a sense of buy-in from the entire roster. It leads inevitably to the right kind of chemistry.Trades: only as a last resort.Here's my nuanced analysis:D'Antoni has come in with a showtime mandate, a slowtime team, no preseason, and extremely limited tolerance for losing from everyone. His assistant coaches have almost entirely been held over from a contrary rigorous Princeton era and philosophy. Key players still think in terms of alternate approaches. Only a few players have worked with D'Antoni's approach, but Steve Nash might be able to adapt D'Antoni's approach to meet these diverse challenges or not.Mike D'Antoni has already been able to successfully implement features of his Phoenix approach: 3 point shooting has dramatically improved. He's also discovered a small ball combination that has been more successful than the classic superstar alignment he inherited, but if overused, it unbalances the team, and cries out for risky trades with unpredictable consequences for team chemistry.D'Antoni must balance the scoring potential of Meeks with the defensive potential of Hill, integrate the very different contributions of Dwight and Pau, and find meaningful roles for Ebanks and Morris, while providing opportunities for Jamison to provide his special offensive touch.D'Antoni must find a way to manage Kobe. If he can, everything is possible. If he can't, the Lakers will be inconsistent, even moody within and between games and D'Antoni will fare no better and possibly worse than last season's Lakers under Mike Brown.These are interesting times.