- Lou Holtz retires: Hopefully shows shift at ESPN
- Anquan Boldin on Colin Kaepernick: ‘Trust your skills’
- NFL trade rumors: Titans Willing to trade No.2 Pick?
- Nick Young injury: Lakers forward likely done for season
- Metta World Peace expressed interest in St. John’s head coaching job
- Darren Sharper settles multiple rape charges with plea deal
- NFL free agency 2015: Are there any targets left for the Seattle Seahawks?
- Michael Crabtree visits Dolphins amid shrinking market
- Chris Borland retires from 49ers amid health issues
- 3 things we learned from Clippers’ 100-98 loss to Rockets
Mike D’Antoni hints Lakers are better off without Dwight Howard
- Updated: August 19, 2013
The Los Angeles Lakers no longer have to worry about the distraction surrounding Dwight Howard after the big man bolted for the Houston Rockets during the offseason, and his former head coach thinks that’s a good thing.
In a wide-ranging interview with Mike Bresnehan of the Los Angeles Times, Mike D’Antoni didn’t exactly say it in so many words, but implied that without Howard around as a distraction, the Lakers may be better on the court in 2013-14:
From the Los Angeles Times:
Addition by subtraction? The Lakers can only hope, despite their very public courting of Howard that started a mere eight weeks ago and crashed and burned barely a week later.
“We’ve definitely improved our shooting and I think the chemistry will be better just because the uncertainty has gone away,” D’Antoni said. “A lot of people will know their roles better and what’s going on on the floor better. Dealing with free agency day to day, we won’t have those problems.”
The lack of chemistry was one of the most glaring issues throughout the season, and much of it had to do with Howard’s limitations offensively and his unwillingness to embrace the pick-and-roll. As a player who needs touches in and around the restricted area in order to be effective, the Lakers’ were more limited in what they could do from an execution standpoint.
To be fair, the injuries that happened to nearly every key player on the roster were such an anomaly, that the cohesiveness was almost impossible to develop long-term. Still, Howard brought a circus to town with him in terms of media coverage, reputation and his pending offseason decision.
It always seemed to take away from the focus of winning basketball games.
D’Antoni understood it when he took the job, and went on to say that he wouldn’t have done so had he not fully been able to handle the expectations of coaching behind an NBA legend. Lakers fans are a demanding bunch, often beyond reason. Cooler heads, however, understand that there are injury limitations and salary cap constraints that prevent the Lakers from fielding a “super team” every year. When Howard walked, they were still over the cap and had to settle for low-cost veterans via the minimum salary and mid-level exceptions.
The Lakers won’t be stacked with talent in 2013-14, but they have a very real opportunity to improve upon a lost season and face the rest of the NBA with a chip on their shoulders.
Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Latest posts by Michael C. Jones (see all)
- Chris Borland retires from 49ers amid health issues - March 17, 2015
- Wyoming upsets San Diego State, 45-43, wins Mountain West Conference Tournament - March 14, 2015
- Tiger Woods to skip Bay Hill, hopeful on Masters - March 13, 2015