Mike D'Antoni is all smiles as he's introduced as the Lakers'… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
Point guard Chris Duhon played for Coach Mike D'Antoni in New York with the Knicks. He has firsthand experience in D'Antoni's system, which he says is far more complex than what the Lakers were able to run against the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
"What you've seen out there is nothing close to what eventually will happen," said Duhon. "It takes time. It's a timing thing. It's an offense where once everyone understands it, there's no play calls."
It's easy to think back to the Steve Nash-led Suns squad of athletes, pouring in shots from all over the floor in high volume.
"Everyone thinks that it's just up and down, up and down, but there's actually a certain tempo that you need to run with it," said Duhon. "Guys need to get in shape for it. We're in a certain shape to obviously play defense, but our initial offense was kind of a Princeton offense, pound it inside, make space and make shots."
Obviously the Lakers weren't able to make enough shots, starting the year 1-4 before climbing to the current record of 4-5.
The Lakers scored a season-high 114 points against the Suns.
"He wants us averaging 110, so I think we pleased [D'Antoni]," said Duhon.
Can the team realistically maintain that kind of pace? Duhon seems to believe so.
"Now we want to go up and down, it's going to take a couple of weeks for guys to get into that type of shape," he said. "Once it happens, you'll see that our tempo gets faster and faster."
D'Antoni is expected to take over on the bench starting Sunday as the Lakers host the Houston Rockets.
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