Prior to the season, almost everyone had the Spurs slotted #3 (or worse) in the Western Conference behind the Thunder and the Lakers. What a difference one month makes! OKC trades away their 2nd (or 3rd) best player, and the Lakers started out 1-4. Instead of taking the patient approach by waiting for Steve Nash to get healthy and for Dwight Howard to get fully integrated, Jim Buss decided instead to drop a bomb!
As a Spurs fan, I am used to preaching/hearing about patience. Granted, our community has gotten a little twitchy about the playoff exits the last few years, but overall, Spurs' fans tend not to overreact (much). Which could be why my first action this morning on hearing the news about the Lakers hiring Mike D'Antoni was maniacal laughter.
What has been the Lakers' main problem up to this point? Defense. So who did they hire to fix this mess? There is no "D" in 'Antoni. Huge mistake in my mind, despite the talent on the starting five. Although Nash will have no problem running the SSOL offense, asking Howard and Pau Gasol to switch to a system that doesn't maximize their strengths seems questionable at best. Will Kobe rebel against Nash having the ball in his hands 99% of the time? Will Nash be able to mimic his Phoenix forays into the paint with both Howard and Gasol clogging the middle? And who is going to shoot the damn ball? As we Spurs fans know, D'Antoni's offense is predicated on having good outside shooters that can run the floor. The Lakers don't have those. Besides, do you really want to run a high tempo, fast paced offense with the old legs on this team? The Lakers' core (with the exception of Howard) is on the wrong side of thirty; the bench depth is suspect. Can the Lakers' starting five even stay healthy, while playing heavy minutes? We shall see, but I do look forward to MWP chucking up threes. The playoffs suddenly look a little less scary.
So fellow Pounders, are you as giddy as I am this morning?