Sports Out West

Steve Kerr chalks up Lakers’ woes to poor system fit

The Lakers have struggled to fit into Mike D'antoni's system this season (Photo by Keith Allison / Wikimedia Commons)

Former NBA executive and basketball analyst Steve Kerr joined the “Petros and Money Show” on AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles and shed some light on the Los Angeles Lakers’ dismal season. As the person who ran the Phoenix Suns while Mike D’Antoni was the team’s head coach, Kerr has especially good insight into what ails the purple and gold. 

As one might expect, the problems that plague the Lakers have a lot to do with personnel. There’s no denying the fact that the Lakers have a roster full of thirty-somethings and have struggled to keep up with the younger, more athletic teams in the Western Conference. At 15-18, they haven’t been able to find the team chemistry necessary to win games. 

The Lakers have struggled to fit into Mike D'antoni's system this season (Photo by Keith Allison / Wikimedia Commons)

The Lakers have struggled to fit into Mike D’antoni’s system this season (Photo by Keith Allison / Wikimedia Commons)

“When you’re older and you don’t have great legs and you’re playing a wide open style and shooting a lot of threes, now all of a sudden you’re exposed in transition defensively,” he said. “So you’re always vulnerable. I just feel like they need to be more Pittsburgh Steelers than New England Patriots.” 

From 2007-2010, Kerr served as the general manager for the Suns, who D’Antoni coached to a similar, uptempo system. As a former NBA analyst, he’s well-versed in what it takes from a personnel standpoint to run a stretch system like the Lakers are currently using. The Lakers simply don’t have the shooters, team speed or bench to make it all work. 

Despite all of that, he wasn’t ready to write off the Lakers’ chances at postseason success. 

“Things change dramatically in the NBA. Last year the Bulls were the No. 1 seed in the East, and they lose in the first round because they lose Derrick Rose to injury and everything changes,” Kerr added. “I don’t think for one second that this season is over with for L.A. They’re two games out of the last spot in the playoffs. That’s nothing over 49 games.” 

There is no need to panic, but the Lakers have to turn things around right away That’s going to be even more difficult given the recent injuries to Pau Gasol, Jordan Hill and Dwight Howard. The Lakers have shown flashes of brilliance, but have looked lost for much of the season. They will have to find the team chemistry that is buried deep within them as they’ve already put together an impressive five-game win streak earlier this season. 

“We just need to see it,” said Kerr. 

 

 

 

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Michael C. Jones is the managing editor and founder of Sports Out West and a Southern California-based sports journalist. His work is also regularly featured on Yahoo! Sports and SB Nation. You can catch up with him on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets.