The Washington Times-Herald

Local Sports

November 16, 2012

Lakers got the right man for the job

Glade's Games

WASHINGTON — The Los Angeles Lakers hired the most logical coach for the job, and no that’s not Phil Jackson.

When the Lakers made the decision to fire Mike Brown after only five games and four losses they made it clear it was time for a change. Many believed the rumors that Phil Jackson, the 11-time champion former Lakers and Bulls head coach was coming back to the sidelines.

The Lakers went in another direction with Mike D’Antoni. What ensued on Monday was an unprecedented ridicule towards a move that actually makes sense.

If you let ESPN tell it, you know the Worldwide Leader in Sports, the Lakers failed miserably by not bringing back Jackson. While we’ll never know all the details it appears Jackson didn’t want to travel to all the road games, some morning shootarounds, and wanted an ownership stake in the Lakers as well as final say on personnel decisions. The truth is likely somewhere in the middle. Nobody is saying D’Antoni is a better coach than Jackson, but D’Antoni’s system is better for what the Lakers currently have on the court.

During D’Antoni’s time as head coach in Phoenix, his “seven seconds or less” offense turned current Lakers point guard Steve Nash into a two-time MVP and one of the best to ever play the position. In addition, the pick and roll sets Nash ran with Amar’e Stoudemire turned him into plenty of uncontested dunks. What many people are so conveniently not understanding is that the point guard position has no place in Jackson’s legendary triangle offense. In all five championships in Los Angeles, Jackson had Derek Fisher. In Chicago he had B.J. Armstrong, John Paxson and Ron Harper, not exactly Steve Nash.

Also, the top point guard and top forward/center in pick and roll situations last season were Nash and Lakers center Dwight Howard, when you look at it like that it appears this is a perfect fit.

The biggest issue any fan base would have with the D’Antoni hire is that his defense isn’t exactly top notch.

His lack of defense has been greatly overstated by analysts wanting to discredit him as a coach.

The problem with this theory is in Phoenix, D’Antoni had Nash and Stoudemire, neither of which had any interest in playing defense. In New York, he had Stoudemire again, and Carmelo Anthony, another prolific scorer with no interest in playing defense.

When you have a team dynamic where the top players don’t play hard on defense, the rest of the team follows.

With the Lakers, D’Antoni will already have Dwight Howard, the best defensive player in the league, Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace. Bryant has made nine All-NBA first team defensive teams and World Peace has long had a reputation of a staunch one-on-one defender. Howard was the defensive player of the year each year from 2009-2011, and the only reason he didn’t win last season was because he had a back injury that forced him to miss significant time.

Ultimately, D’Antoni will be under a intense microscope that will hang over the entire Lakers franchise all season.

The only way to satisfy all of his detractors is to win the NBA championship at the end of the season. Not even a appearance in the Finals in a losing effort will suffice. D’Antoni knows the stakes, as do the rest of his team.

The season will be non-stop drama in Los Angeles. I like the Lakers chances to win its sixth championship since 2000.

One thing is for sure, the Lakers have the right man for the job.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • SPT-WT-082214-TIMBER SHELTON PIC Hatchet boys finish second in four-team meet The Washington boys cross country team placed second in a four-team meet with Wood Memorial, Vincennes Lincoln and Northeast Dubois. The Washington girls team didn’t place due not having enough runners, but still had three runners finish in the top 1

    August 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-WT-082214-JACOB OVERTON PIC WHS takes down B-R, 4-1 MONTGOMERY — The 2014 boys tennis season is still in its infancy, but getting to matchup against an opponent you’re familiar with is always a good barometer. Washington (2-0) defeated Barr-Reeve (1-2) 4-1 Thursday afternoon, thanks to of all three si

    August 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT-WT-082114-ND TEAM PHOTO New look for the 2014 Cougars ELNORA — The North Daviess Cougar football team will have some big shoes to fill in 2014, and, none will be bigger than replacing the state’s leading rusher Colton Lengacher.However, in spite of Lengacher’s loss to graduation, most believe Coach Scot

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-WT-082114-AMBER TAYLOR PIC WHS downs Pike Central, improves to 2-0 Another match and another win for the Washington volleyball team. The Hatchets (2-0) stayed undefeated by sweeping their opponent with ease. Washington dispatched Pike Central (25-16, 25-16, 25-15) just 24 hours after doing the same to Southridge.Was

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • WC takes down Shoals 8-0 in season-opener SHOALS — On the opening night of the boys soccer season, Washington Catholic looked to be in mid-season form. The Cardinals defeated Shoals 8-0 behind hat trick’s from Blaine Fuhs and Ethan Wichman. “In the first half we played pretty well,” said Was

    August 20, 2014

  • Hatchets cruise to season-opening win A first impression is important in all walks of life, and sports is no different. Washington started the boys soccer season with a dominant performance against Princeton Tuesday night at the Sports Complex. The Hatchets’ 14-0 victory featured a swarm

    August 20, 2014

  • Hatchet preview pic Hatchets ready to rebuild The Washington Hatchets hope that in spite of small numbers, a new offense will help add some wins to the 2014 Hatchets.Washington went 1-9 last season, but added a win against North Knox and played well in the sectional against powerhouse Brownstown

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports Briefs Washington beats SullivanThe Washington boys tennis team started the season with a 5-0 win over Sullivan Monday night. Michael Ramsey (6-2, 6-1), Jacob Overton (6-2, 6-2) and Jayden Bailey (6-4, 6-2) were all victorious in the singles matches. Washin

    August 20, 2014

  • We all lose with the Paul George injury An athlete's time to perform at peak condition is so finite that we often take it for granted. The prime of any athlete's career can be so short that we often don't appreciate what we're seeing, because we assume it will continue for a long time. For

    August 18, 2014

  • Local sports schedule MONDAY 8/18 Tennis Barr-Reeve at Bedford North Lawrence 5 p.m. Edgewood at North Daviess 5 p.m. Sullivan at Washington 5 p.m. Volleyball Loogootee at Paoli 7:30 p.m. TUESDAY 8/19 Tennis Linton at Barr-Reeve 4:30 p.m. North Daviess at Wood Memorial 5

    August 18, 2014