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Coach Mike D'Antoni has more realistic expectations for Lakers pace

October 21, 2013|By Melissa Rohlin
  • Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni, right, watches guard Steve Blake, left, drive past Golden State's Tony Douglas during a preseason game in Beijing last week. D'Antoni appears to recognize that the Lakers lack the personnel to play at the ultra-fast pace for which his teams are known.
Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni, right, watches guard Steve Blake, left,… (Mark Ralston / Getty Images )

When Mike D'Antoni became the Lakers' coach last season, he wanted them to be a fast-paced team that scored around 110 points a game.

Then reality set in.

With their aging roster, the Lakers averaged 102.2 points.

"i was on drugs back then," D'Antoni said with a laugh after Monday's practice. "My knee was hurting, Vicodin was killing me."

This time around, D'Antoni has more realistic expectations. When asked what he's thinking the team's pace should be, the coach didn't mince words.

"I'm not thinking," D'Antoni said. "Obviously it didn't work out last year so I don't know. We're just going to try to score as many as we can and hold them to as [few points] as we can."

D'Antoni said he wants the Lakers to be in the top five teams in the league in pace.

"It won't be breakneck speed," he said.

Steve Nash said the Lakers weren't equipped for the type of basketballĀ  D'Antoni had envisioned.

"We didn't have the makeup for that type of play," the 39-year-old point guard said. "We didn't have maybe the shooting or the athleticism last year."

Even during the Lakers' 28-12 stretch to finish the season, Nash said they never quite found their groove.

"We never really played Mike's offense last year," he said. "I think we had a pretty high talent level -- we were able to find ways to win games, but we never really found an identity."

Nash said that for the Lakers to find success this season, playing high-speed basketball is not a necessity.

"I dont think we should play that fast," he said. "I think there's a certain pace, a continual pace that's important to find."


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