Blogtable: Dwight and D’Antoni




Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


Week 30: Dwight and D’Antoni | What do the Knicks need? | Bobcats back to Hornets


Can Dwight Howard and Mike D’Antoni coexist? How?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Maybe those two can co-exist temporarily if Pau Gasol ends up elsewhere and Howard continues as a lone post presence. But long term and big picture, no, I don’t see it. I’m not sure Mike D’Antoni is the championship-caliber coach the Lakers’ legacy ultimately demands and I’m pretty sure Dwight Howard is not up to the job as tent-pole guy for that franchise, either. I still think he’s best suited to a smaller stage — Houston or maybe Atlanta — even if money, ego and preferred distractions have him sticking in L.A. At which point, my guess is, he’s not done burning through head coaches.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: The bigger question is can Dwight Howard and any coach co-exist? Until the 27-year-old-going-on-18 big man grows up and takes responsibility for all of the shortcomings in his game and attitude, he and his team(s) will be unfulfilled.

Dwight Howard (Noah Graham/NBAE)

Dwight Howard (Noah Graham/NBAE)

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comYes they can. All it takes is for Mike D’Antoni to coach basketball and do so to his players’ strengths, and not force feed an inflexible style. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak might have to move Pau Gasol (which won’t make Kobe Bryant happy) to give Dwight full control of the paint, as well as add a knockdown shooter or two to help free him up down low. If the Lakers want Dwight to be “The Man” for years to come, then it’s time to start making him the center of attention. Just not sure D’Antoni is capable of making such a commitment. And if he’s not then why’s he still the coach of this team?

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comI give it a resoundingProbably.” Because they have to. It is based on the premise that Howard re-signs, of course, at which point they’ll have no other choice. Howard will want to fulfill his contract until he starts to angle for a trade and D’Antoni will want to keep his job. The coach, now with the benefit of time and a training camp that did not exist when he first arrived, will make tweaks to place the player more at the forefront. Howard will like that.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: They should be able to, because Howard really is a great fit for D’Antoni’s offense if he’s willing to run a lot more pick-and-rolls than post-ups, if Steve Nash is healthy (because he’s the guy who’s going to get Howard the ball), and if the Lakers acquire some more shooting to spread the floor. Of course, I wonder more about D’Antoni’s ability to get his team to defend consistently more than I wonder about his relationship with Howard.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comSure they can. And it’s called sucking it up and doing your damn job. I can think of $30 million reasons why Dwight Howard should be willing to give it a try. The reality is people go to work every day and work their tails off with co-workers and bosses they don’t like because it’s the professional thing to do. Howard needs to get with the program and put whatever issues he might have with D’Antoni and anyone else and do the job he’s being paid to do. It’s not like D’Antoni treated him the way he treated Pau Gasol this season. If D’Antoni is his excuse for not sticking around with the Lakers, then Dwight is every bit of the Dwightmare his critics make him out to be. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt for the next six weeks. But we’ll see what happens July 1.

Hanson Guan, NBA.com/china: There’s no room for a traditional center under Mike D’Antoni’s system. Even if the Lakers had made their way into the playoffs, it wouldn’t have helped solve the problem between D’Antoni and Dwight Howard. It’s inevitable that they’ve had trouble working together, while the relationship between Dwight and Kobe Bryant hasn’t been what it was thought to be. Dwight’s personality and playing style mean he shouldn’t play under D’Antoni.

Eduardo Schell, NBA.com/spain: Two ways of building a team: you sign the appropriate players according to the coach’s playing style or you sign the appropriate coach according to the already existing players. So it was quite astonishing when the Lakers signed D’Antoni, having two big dominant guys like Pau and Dwight on the roster. At the end, D’Antoni changed his style somewhat with the Lakers’ backs to the wall, and for sure DH can play with MD with a healthy Nash as point guard. But I doubt the Lakers can really take advantage of PG+DH if MD stays true to his original basketball playing style.

Stefanos Triantafyllos, NBA.com/greece: We have to be fair with Dwight Howard. It was a tough season for him, as he struggled after his back surgery. I think that he was never at the level he was playing in his years in Orlando. So, we must not rush to conclusion. After all, it’s not his fault that the Lakers lacked good chemistry and offensive balance. Now it’s the time to figure out if they want to support their guy in the middle, by adding the right pieces around him: slashers than can feed him in the lane or forwards capable of stretching the floor. As to whether he can work with coach D’ Antoni? When it comes to winning, everybody has to make a step back for the team’s good. So if the Lakers want to return to the league’s elite they have to have a healthy Kobe, less talking and more playing. Coaches coach and players play. D’ Antoni and Howard have proven than they can do their job right.

59 Comments

  1. Bill Hipp says:

    Dwight need to play point center like Bill Russel

  2. Bill Hipp says:

    George Karl is better than D’antoni

  3. Dan says:

    Dwight need to play POINT CENTER like Bill Russel

  4. Nate says:

    People don’t hate Dwight Howard. People just hate how successful the Lakers have been for many years. They’ve landed the big piece in LA, Jerry Buss RIP then everything breaks lose. Buss kids need to get it together before they lose it all. Dwight was injured and played fairly well. Kobe benefited at lot w/ D’antoni has head coach as he likes playing w/o big mans. D’antoni benched Pau and overlooked D12. The Lakers never disrespected Howard, besides Kobe who just doesn’t care but solve their differences. The media and others are just upset of how successful the LA has been and now they are trying to run D12 out of LA, won’t work but could if Jim and Jenny can’t see what they have.

  5. Eaglos says:

    The guy from Spain had it right.

    You either get a compatible coach according to your existing roster or
    you get compatible roster according to the coaching style. Lakers did
    none of the above and in fact they took all the wrong approaches.
    They hired a mediocre coach with a run and gun style and gave him
    a team of battered veterans and two centers that he is unable to use…

    I wonder where the fellow greek scribe saw that “D’ Antoni and Howard
    have proven than they can do their job right”….

  6. Mr Man says:

    Ban DAntonio and Ban Howard. Ban Gasol and send all of them to other teams. they are not good for Lakers. Use them to choose new players for the team. I don’t like DAntonio’s moustache, Howard cannot score in the free throw, and the girls don’t like Gasol because he is too soft.
    Lakers need hard players. Players that can kill to score the point and can jump on your head on defense and rebounding. Steve Nash is an old bastard. He is 45 yrs old, he shouldn’t be playing in NBA again. Ban all of them. Everybody, GO !

  7. mario says:

    So lakers r planning to keep d’antoni? One more year to waste..

  8. Unkle Daddy says:

    Real simple D’Antoni stinks, always has always will, so if he stays in L.A. I’m good by that because I don’t like the Lakers never will. Dwight needs to get out of Lakerland because even if he is the focal point, they are done for awhile, at least three seasons, because they heal quicker than most teams, money can do that, but I don’t think he wants to flounder for the next few seasons. He needs to work on his skill set, relocate and stop crying so much. Atlanta, Houston or the long shoot, OKC.

  9. Ry209 says:

    Cp3 Blake an clippers are good an have very good base new coach is perfect idea but with the players If it not broke Dont Fix it

  10. Jackson? I doubt it. says:

    The genius of Jackson is that he would get these guys to have fun again. You just put them in the right spots and let them play the game. They know how to play ball. I doubt Jackson would be welcome back as long as Kobe is still there. He picked MJ over Kobe in his book right?

  11. Bojeezy says:

    There are really three tough decisions I feel the Lakers management are gonna have to make. First, is trade or keep Pau Gasol. Second, let Howard walk away to another team. Third, find a new coach that is a better fit for the personal on the court. I don’t really want to see Gasol go and he doesn’t either. He can either be traded or amnestied. If Howard decides to go to Alanta or Houston there isn’t anything they could do but look for a replacement or get someone to take the four spot. Gasol is a serviceable center but not a dominating center like Shaq was. He was great when he won two championships with Kobe.

    As far as possibly trading Kobe, I think all of you are crazy. He is one of the reasons we made it to the playoffs this year. Sure, he is a step slow and his defense isn’t what it used to be. If Micheal Jordan can play into his 40′s, I think Kobe can too. It just depends if he wants to. I think he is still hungry and wants at least one more ring before he hangs it up but this Achilles injury will definitely alter his plans.

  12. cefri says:

    trade gasol for josh smith, devin harris. trade MWP for ariza and try to get some pure shooters to surround the team with nice bench players.

  13. AussieLakerFan says:

    Get rid of Dantoni. Put in Shaw as head coach. Give Phil Jackson a job somewhere in admin, whatever he wants and keep the current roster. Maybe a few little tweaks to spread the floor.

  14. fan says:

    i don’t understand why he give the chance for dwight? dwight is good df or of. kobe is old so much that he is’t the good player any more. d’antoni change the attitude to howard

  15. Munkhbayar says:

    In my opinion, they played much better since all-star break than 1st half of the last season. If they can keep this plays, they will have a good position for the 2nd half of coming season. And If they want champ individually, they should solve their problems and have to find a way work together best before Mamba gonna be back on court

  16. Raymond says:

    My Lakers line up

    C – K.Love
    PF – P. Gasol
    SF – G.Green
    SG – K. Bryant
    PG – D. Williams

    Coach: Phil Jackson

  17. Raymond says:

    Dwight Howard is the Biggest Mistake in any team. He can’t co-exist in any coach. He has an attitude. Trade him to Hibbert or Love or M.Gasol or Deron Williams or to Llilard Lakers is need scoring point guard who can be the leader of the Team, and let kobe do his game.

  18. Dr.Rasheed says:

    DOES IT REALLY MATTER D12/D’ANTONI: DAMAGE WAS DONE LOG TIME AGO BY LAKERS OWNER BY HIRING INCOMPETENT COACH.

    Transient anger, pain, sorrow, frustration…
    Got tired of criticizing Mike D’Antoni.
    D12 not much to say due to his injuries.

    Winners: They get paid in millions. Lakers owners got wealthy this year, players and coach got paid.

    Losers: Lakers Fan and KOBE Bryant!

    Technically everyone is satisfied in my opinion. Fan’s knew Lakers limits with incompetent coach.
    We are not that much disappointed. We knew this was going to be outcome as Lakers fan logically, although we wished it didn’t end the way it did.

  19. Thor-jack says:

    Don’t take away P. Gasol. he is a big help in the field even if he doesn’t make any points. Keep Gasol….fire the coach. He is not used to lead a team like Lakers.

  20. Berdugo says:

    They need to put Phil in the middle of all the mess. No one can fix this except for the Zen master.

  21. what gives? says:

    Kobe, Pau, Howard and Nash. You’ve got 4 all stars on 1 team. You’ve got 4 talented players but their game doesn’t suit each other. Basketball is a team sport and if you have a team with players with styles that don’t match then teamwork won’t exist. Then winning won’t come.
    Although D’Antoni isn’t a great coach, it is not his fault they are not winning. Coaches have their own brand of play, his own style. He was brought in to fix something that he didn’t create. He would be more effective if he chose the players rather than take the player that was given to him and change the players style of play to suit his style. And 1 season isn’t enough. It took Jordan, Pipen and Phil more than 1 season to win a championship.

  22. LAL LOL says:

    of course the coach is a problem in Lakers, yet the bigger problem is………
    THE BENCH.

    While Mitch is thinking how to make D12 and Phil Jackson back, he should also think of trading for bench, Antawn Jamison (and Steve Blake?!) are the only good players among the bench.

    want to championship? Bench depth helps

  23. Gene says:

    Re Sekou: Often times ppl work in unpleasant environments for want of options. Dwight Howard would be foolish not to maximized what leverage he may have because it is fleeting. I wonder are ppl as demanding of themselves as they are of others. On the other hand Lakers’ management has shown itself to be flawed and as any sports journalist without and agenda will tell you, it takes both on and off court competence to win professionally, and Kobe just might lose it if all of this talk about Lebron continues.

  24. Fire D’ANtonio keep Gasoline resign D12 bid Phil Jackson to be coach NBA champs

  25. krishna says:

    in my opinion just sack MD and bring some fresh players like wesbrook (graduated from UCLA?) and any other kind young player to make a better team….. also considering bench player to be replaced by other qualified player …. done …

  26. Smackers says:

    can we just get burnake back, they went undefeated with him as a interim coach, they were doin so good wit dat dude…..lol

  27. Arthur Matters says:

    Hire Byron Scott as head coach and trade Howard and World Peace to OKC for Ibaka and Perkins.

  28. ContraBT says:

    I wouldn’t risk my career by relying on Kobe to recover. Kobe has many rough miles on his shoulders.
    Resigning with the Lakers would mean taking an unnecessary risk. But everyone is expecting Dwight to resign because they want to see Kobe and Dwight together. Best bet for Dwight’s career would be to go to Houston.

  29. Calvin Abueva says:

    the problem of the lakers is not the players it is on the coach he should changed his system he doesn’t have to force player to play in his system he have to think of other system that can use the big guys properly not the system that is not obviously fit on the talent that the lakers have. he is forcing pau to shoot outside he have to think of other ways and adjust for the players talent have and use them properly.

  30. Jackson Phil says:

    DH would rather play in Houston or Dallas than endure 2 years of insult from KB.
    DH would rather play with LJ than KB.
    DH would rather play with Van Gundy than M D Antoni.

  31. krespino says:

    Regardless of who can co-exist with whom or not, this will not be a real team as long is Kobe is there.
    The other players see themselves as serving in Kobe’s show.
    Just as last year or the year before, they will lose against real teams like the Grizzlies and the Spurs, even if they can make the playoffs. They will be getting a lot of media coverage etc, but absolutely no chance of achieving any real success.
    They need to rebuild. In rebuilding Howard is probably the only player to keep from this roster. That means a long way to go, because Howard is far from being the player who, by himself, can take the team to anything close to contendership.
    If Kobe ended his Lakers career today it would be better for the Lakers, because the next few years will be lost. As long as Kobe is there you can not implement any change.

  32. Maciek says:

    Brian

  33. Maciek says:

    D just step aside. Just PLEASE give a shot to Bian Shaw

  34. allanbenson says:

    Dwight is not a problem and should re-sign.

    The Lakers offence is not a problem as is. It is not even their defence that is the problem. Nor their bench who each individually stood up and showed that they belonged there when needed during injuries – quite well under the circumstances.

    It is D’antoni. They were mis-coached plain and simple. The line ups, match ups, coming into games, coming into quarters, coming out of time-outs, etc. etc. etc. ANY time coaching was expected it failed. To his own admission, it was only when he more or less gave up his ideas in the second half of the season (and Kobe and Dwight took over) when they had their success. I am a die hard Laker fan and watched every game of the season, and it was only when Kobe and Dwight started talking and ignoring D’Antoni’s plans when they started to get to work on both offence and defence.

    And so the question really is, why peg this on Dwight? The guy can’t coach to a championship level. Never could.

    The only question now that Dwight has is should he bother sticking around or is the possibility of D’Antoni being relieved if things do not go well real? That is the 30mil dollar question.

  35. allanbenson says:

    Dwight is not a problem and should re-sign.

    The Lakers offence is not a problem as is. It is not even their defence that is the problem. Nor their bench who each individually stood up and showed that they belonged their, when needed during injuries quite well under the circumstances.

    It is D’antoni. They were mis-coached plain and simple. The line ups, match ups, coming into games, coming into quarters, coming out of time-outs, etc. etc. etc. ANY time coaching was expected it failed. To his own admission, it was only when he more or less gave up his ideas in the second half of the season (and Kobe and Dwight took over) when they had their success. I am a die hard Laker fan and watched every game of the season, and it was only when Kobe and Dwight started talking and ignoring D’Antoni’s plans when they started to get to work on both offence and defence.

    And so the question really is, why peg this on Dwight? The guy can’t coach to a championship level. Never could.

  36. speakinmymind says:

    Quit cryin’ D12 or they’ll get Van Gundy to put you in your place! Smoke on that you big baby!

  37. Danial Putros says:

    Well it is simple D’anton, hmm sorry anton, needs to go. Get Phil Jackson and watch Pau + Dwight ( Mare ) pound the living out of other teams.

  38. jake s. says:

    Dantoni is obviously a bad fit… but lets not blame him, lets blame the management of the Lakers. Lets blame the individual that pulled the rip cord to close to the landing zone.

  39. Kevin says:

    Does anyone proof-read these things??? Hanson Guan, the Lakers did make the playoffs this year…

  40. Leo says:

    Just FIRE D’ANTONI! He’s not the coach for the Lakers. Jim Buss, you really screwed up. WE NEED PHIL!

  41. Dann-e says:

    With potentially 1 more year to go for kobe and nash, we need to get a coach for the long run that best fits Howards style; The ‘twin tower’ duo is the most effective for the lakers! BRING BACK BRIAN SHAW!!!!

  42. pro-x11 says:

    howard and d’antoni, in my humble opinion, are 2 mistakes for any franchise who want to win a title.

  43. ball says:

    Lakers should think about next year’s draft, which is going to be the future of the nba and also for
    the lakers. because kobe is going to retire soon, and they need a star.
    ANDREW WIGGINS!!

  44. AJ says:

    I know everybosy is talking about D12 signing with D12. I personally think Lakers are a champion contending team even without D12 and some pieces. Lakers should let D12 walk away. Pau is still efficient down low and in pick and roll situations. I understand that Pau is not the best defender out there but guy averages about 2.5 blocks which ain’t bad. Lakers need to sign a good SFand a decent PF who can shoot long range. Metta is a good player but just too inconsistent. Need to re sign Clark anf Glock. Give some minutes to Glock and he can prove he is a decent threat offensively.

    Conclustion: Let D12 walk away and spend time finding some young SF and PF. Let Pau be the center.

    • Dann-e says:

      I agree with a majority of what you are saying. and efficiency wise, i feel gasol is statistically better. the only thing is we need an anchor down low, gasol is too soft to play center unless we get a tough PF with a lot of hustle. Paul Millsap or even david west!

    • T says:

      That’s exactly right.. I totally agree. Gasol has played the best seasons of his career as a 5. We need a good stretch 4. I’m fine with metta staying, but seriously gotta get rid of Dwight. He’s just going to hurt the teams unity next season with all this drama

  45. The fact says:

    They can coexist for sure, but just gonna be another wasted season for the Laker fans, D’Antoni has to go seriously

  46. dmh says:

    Shaq was right. If D12 were going to resign with the Lakers he wouldn’t be so non-committal. The lakers have too many needs and not enough resources as currently constructed. Mike D’Antoni was the coach that put the square peg in the round hole for this team. Then laker management made lame excuses for keeping the roster intact at the trade deadline. The celtics proved in the 90s that the past is the past, the future is the future and now is now. The celtics had that long drought before the Pierce/Walker era and that never did much in the playoffs. Then there was that shorter but more painful drought before the big 3 era. Live for now and plan for the future.
    The irony here is that the celtics and the lakers are at a point independently of each other where they have to toe the fine line of respect for greats versus what is best for the team. The celtics at least didn’t turn their cap situation and vet situation into a circus. They may have lost Allen to the heat in FA but, they did show the guy respect until the end regardless of what he may think of his post injury benching… In Doc’s defense, the guy couldn’t shoot in last year’s playoffs due to the fact that he didn’t have his footing back yet post-injury. Now that he has his footing back, he is tearing it up in Miami.
    I bet folks in Orlando are laughing their butts off at this situation. The only way Dwight stays in LA is if he gets shamed into doing so by his inner circle. If this were a normal laker situation the guy would be a fool to leave. However, this dysfunction needs a crewd hand at the wheel. Unless there is a trick up Buss’ sleeve we haven’t seen, I think we will be seeing Kobe representing the Lakers at the lottery next year.

  47. LS says:

    Incompetence and a Cry Baby.

  48. Patty says:

    D’ ANTONI IS NOT GOING TO WORK OUT IN LOS ANGELES AND HE KNOWS IT.

    THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS ARE PUTTING OFF FIRING ANTONI BUT THEY WILL.

  49. chalice says:

    They can co-exist but from Dwight’s perspective, why bother? Kobe is injured and ain’t getting younger, Pau is old but still a very good big, Nash is really old and Lakers have little to no bench. If Dwight signs for the approxs $30 million and Kobe and Pau’s contracts are still there, what kind of bench will you be talking about? Kobe’s a superman with training and recovery but nobody beats Father Time. If he signs and doesn”t win the Lakers next year (which looks like a real possiblity), he don’t win a championship period. Time to move on to Houston or Atlanta.

  50. Patty says:

    GET RID OF D’ ANTONI. HE IS BAD NEWS.

  51. W/E says:

    Coach D’antoni is AWFULL, Howard is a different player player since the injury,the guy is a brick has no offense no post moves and the bad news is that he lost toughness and defensive intensity due to his injury,also a cry baby who realised he cant a championship alone, both should stay in LA and rot, they deserve each other LA drama suits them perfect.

    • WOW says:

      No one “rots” in LA….have you ever been out here? lol..theres a reason why the Lakers are one of the greatest franchises in sports buddy

    • lakersfan4life says:

      I think DH and PGasol can co exist together al we need is get P Jax back or at least someone that know his system witch in this case is B Shaw, triangle offence works with 2 bigs, we have to let Mike DÁntoni go.

  52. I read their opinions. In my opinion, I don’t know what to say. I’m just hoping that they will coexist and have a better team in 2013-2014 NBA Season and win the Championship when all our players are healthy all season long. Kobe Bryant is still the leader of my team the Lakers and still his team until he retires. Let’s go Lakers my team.

    Ray
    Ray Duque III (GMBD), USA

  53. kobe says:

    they are both equally as bad

  54. Game Time says:

    I agree with Sekou, but at the same time you can’t always give your best performance when being mismanaged or in this case improperly coached.