As far as Mitch Kupchak and the Buss family are concerned, Mike D’Antoni will return as the Lakers head coach next season.
The writers here at Lake Show Life recently held a roundtable discussion as to whether or not D’Antoni ‘deserves’ to coach the team next year, and our general consensus was a resound no.
At a glance, his 40-32 record placed D’Antoni’s first season with the Lakers on the sunnier side of pedestrian, while his post-Memphis loss record of 28-12 was nothing short of outstanding with such an injury-riddled cast.
However, the Lakers humiliating sweep at the hands of the Spurs in the first round did little to help his questionable postseason legacy.
D’Antoni has currently registered a .441 win percentage in the playoffs. Including three first-round exits with the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns and Lakers, as well as eliminations in the Conference Finals (2) and Conference Semifinals (1) in his his time with the Suns.
What’s truly disturbing though is D’Antoni’s dreadful 1-14 record over his last 15 playoff games. Even more so that those teams sported an average win percentage of .573 entering the postseason, a combined record of 137-99.
I feel most of this can be attributed to his trademark ‘seven seconds or less’ offense. Because while it makes for some solid entertainment, it doesn’t change the fact D’Antoni’s defensive negligence leads to his teams inability to make crucial stops when it matters most.
They say numbers never lie. So I’m inclined to let his .067 win percentage over his last three years in the playoffs do the talking.
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