Pros and cons of Lakers hiring Mike D’Antoni as head coach

Very few saw that coming.

Instead of the Lakers hiring Phil Jackson, they hired Mike D’Antoni. With that, there’s several pros and cons surrounding it. Click below the jump for the breakdown

Pros:

1. Expect plenty of pick and roll – D’Antoni coached Steve Nash with the Phoenix Suns and knows exactly how to use him. Think the Nash-Amare Stoudemire combo was lethal? Just imagine how things will look with D’Antoni’s pick-and-roll sets with Nash-Dwight Howard and Nash-Pau Gasol. Combine Kobe Bryant’s floor presence and it’s very hard to imagine teams stopping the Lakers.

2. D’Antoni’s offense should be easy to pick up – If there was a knock against Jackson, there was concern that his triangle offense would take too much time to implement for the team’s newcomers. Even though the triangle offense would feature plenty of pick-and-roll options, it’s possible the Lakers could experience a learning curve. Meanwhile, D’Antoni’s offense could be easier to pick up

3. Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash endorsed D’Antoni – Both also highly talked up Jackson. But it’s not like either will be disappointed with this hire. Bryant played for D’Antoni as a Team USA assistant in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. They also share a background in playing in Italy. Meanwhile, Nash won two MVP awards in four seasons under D’Antoni’s leadership in Phoenix.

Cons:

1. Zero defense – D’Antoni is known for having his teams score in seven seconds or less. That’s not exactly a winning formula for championship basketball. Nor does it fully utilize the Lakers’ defensive presence in Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace. Sure, the Lakers boast plenty of Hall of Fame talent. But the Lakers can’t simply outscore teams.

2. Can the Lakers handle D’Antoni’s fast-paced offense? The Lakers aren’t exactly a young bunch. If they try scoring in seven seconds or less, they’re going to collapse from clear exhaustion. It would also further expose them to younger and more athletic teams, such as the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, in a track meet.

3. Lack of championship experience – No one can top the legend that is Phil Jackson, what with his 11 NBA titles. But D’Antoni has yet to prove in his time in Phoenix and New York that his philosophies can lead to championships. Perhaps that will be a different story considering the Lakers’ immense talent. But there is a huge risk involved.

You’ve read all the pros and cons. Now what’s your take? Vote in the poll below.

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter.

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