Also, Mods feel free to merge if necessary.
- Kupchak said the team's chances to win a title this season are better with D'Antoni as the coach than they were with Mike Brown as the coach. Obviously, that belief is why they made the change. "What Mike (D'Antoni's) going to run better suits the team."
- Kupchak said the defensive numbers for D'Antoni's past teams don't support the idea that he couldn't or didn't coach defense, when adjusted for pace of play. Also: "Mike D'Antoni never had Dwight Howard, Metta (World Peace) and another 7-footer (Pau Gasol) in back of (Howard) either." Kupchak went on to explain that Dr. Buss has always preferred an up-tempo, free offense. The triangle wasn't his favorite system as it wasn't up and down, but since the team was winning it was all good. They also had the personnel to support the triangle offense when Jackson installed it, both times.
- Kupchak was asked if Phil gave him a vision of how he'd be able to take the personnel and win with it: "We talked about it … I know the triangle. Obviously I wasn't convinced … We just didn't feel the players we had on this team, the players we brought in would fit the triangle offense as well as what Mike D'Antoni would do. We made huge commitments to players this summer either via free agency or trade, and we just didn't feel the fit was as good as what Mike D'Antoni runs."
Kupchak added that there will be "a lot more opportunities for every player" in D'Antoni's system. You won't see 16 to 19 seconds on the shot clock before getting a shot. There will be more shot attempts, if more turnovers, but Kupchak thinks it's easier to get a guy to run down on offense than it is on D. And guys are more willing to run back on D after the score, generally.
- Can L.A.'s players run with the collective age of the team? Yes, Kupchak said, but he clarified that they aren't asking the players to run sprints from end line to end line. "We do have young speed and savvy players that can play up tempo. We're not talking about run and gun, we're talking about up tempo, and putting the ball in the hands of a guy to do what he does best. (Steve Nash) isn't going to win sprints, but he knows how to control tempo, and our pace of play will be faster and less deliberate.
I was also a Phil supporter, but I do see what the front office envisioned for this team.