In our first video blogtable of the season, NBA.com writers from California to New Jersey discuss the problems with the Lakers, the stunningly good Knicks, why no one is paying attention to the Heat (or the Spurs), who belongs in the All-Star Game (and whether it really matters) and lots more.
Some of their thoughts on the Lakers’ woes …
Scott Howard-Cooper: “I don’t think this is a Mike D’Antoni issue. This is a player focus issue … What’s going wrong now [with the Lakers] is not about coaching. It’s about the players.”
Sekou Smith: “I didn’t think Mike D’Antoni was the best choice for the job in the first place … I thought they needed a coach who was more a people manager than a game manager or a massager of minutes and that sort of thing. You need someone to manage a locker room with a lot of egos.”
Fran Blinebury: “I think a lot of us thought they needed to hire Phil Jackson back … but, look, these guys are going into the fourth quarters, at home, and completely falling apart against teams like Orlando and Indiana. The players have to bear some of the burden for this.”
Jeff Caplan: “You do have to be concerned with D’Antoni’s comments … He seems to be getting extremely defensive very short into his tenure.”
John Schuhmann: “They’re in a pretty big hole right now … I look at it this way. You have a top 5 offense and a mediocre defense, you’re maybe, over 82 games, a 50-win team. If you take that pace over their final 59 games or so, they’re going to win maybe a total of 45, 46 games. And I don’t think that makes the playoff in the Western Conference. So I think there has to be some sort of change … for them to be anything better than a sixth, seventh team in the West … I don’t see them getting out of the first round, at best.”
More in the video, above.