Posts Tagged ‘Mike D’Antoni’

Fratello’s Fantasy Pick: Antawn Jamison

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Copyright 2012 NBAE - Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles Lakers have captured the lion’s share of NBA headlines so far this season. They added Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. They fired Mike Brown and hired Mike D’Antoni over Phil Jackson. And their record so far is a pedestrian 8-9, resulting in a steady flow of bickering and general uncertainty surrounding the team and fanbase.

This would be a difficult and daunting environment for most newcomers, but not for Antawn Jamison. The 15-year veteran has been around the league, and he’s seen it all. He knows how to adapt to and grind through less than desirable circumstances while being the consummate professional teammate.

The former Tarheel signed with the talent-heavy Lakers for the veteran’s minimum in the off-season hoping to win his first championship ring after years of toiling for average to below average squads.

The 6’9” combo forward boasted career averages of 19.5 ppg and 7.9 rpg coming into the 2012-2013 season. Having been around the block and then some, Jamison understood that joining LA meant a diminished role off the bench. In the first 12 games of the schedule, he scored just 45 points total. But with a recent ringing endorsement from coach D’Antoni and a thin Laker bench, Jamison has averaged 28.2 mpg, 16.2 ppg and 8.6 rpg over the last five contests.

Jamison has been given the green light to take threes, and he can make them. In a win against Denver on November 30th, Jamison exploded for 33 points and 12 boards, hitting 5 of 10 from behind the arc.

With a center like Howard, Jamison could be the perfect 4-man to spell Pau Gasol and give the team a different look with his ability to sink 3-point shots. While the heavy Hollywood spotlights of adulation and scrutiny fall on Kobe, Dwight, Pau and the injured Nash, look for ‘Tawn to keep filling up the box score.

Ask the Czar

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Gary from Fredon, New Jersey has a question about New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni:

What is ‘different’ about Mike D’Antoni’s offense compared to what other teams in the NBA run? The usual explanation is his teams have good floor spacing and run a lot of pick and roll. But I’d imagine that every team in the league does that.

Coach D’Antoni assigns more responsibility to his point guard than do some of the other coaches in the league. D’Antoni puts the ball in the hands of the PG and lets him pound the ball until he can make a play happen, as opposed to other coaches who emphasize passing and ball movement. D’Antoni utilizes multiple pick-and-rolls to enable the point guard to create a shot for himself or his teammate.

D’Antoni also values the 3-pointer as an offensive weapon, so he likes to play a power forward who can shoot threes and to give guys like Amar’e Stoudemire the green light to attack from beyond the arc.

Fratello’s Fantasy Pick: Jeremy Lin

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin’s meteoric rise to NBA superstardom has captured the imagination of the global hoops nation, and just about everyone who engages social media. In a week’s time, Lin has gone from a little known bench warmer to a top-trending topic on Twitter whose #17 is the best-selling jersey in the league due to his dramatic debut in New York’s starting lineup.

Lin played four years at Harvard and was named to the All-Ivy League First Team as a junior and senior, guiding Harvard to its first postseason tournament since 1946 and becoming the first player in Ivy League history with 1,450 points, 450 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 steals. Undrafted out of Harvard, Lin signed as a free agent with the Golden State Warriors for the 2010-11 season, but only made 29 appearances.

Waived by both the Warriors and the Rockets prior to the late start of the 2011-12 season, Lin joined the Knicks on December 27th. He was getting limited minutes, but the Knicks’ injury-depleted roster eventually presented an opportunity for the unlikely hero to explode. In his breakout performance against the Nets, Lin sparked New York to a 99-92 win with 25 points, seven assists and five rebounds off the bench.

It soon became apparent that Lin was not just a one-hit wonder, and now the 23-year-old sophomore has people turning crimson for passing on his court savvy, poise, maturity, drive and leadership. Lin helped his team to four more wins in the first four starts of his NBA career, producing a season-best five-game winning streak for the Knicks. Gotham City’s secret weapon put on a spectacular show for the home crowd when he unloaded 38 points against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in Friday’s 92-85 win at MSG.

Mike D’Antoni’s offense happens to be a perfect fit for Lin because his system puts the ball in the hands of the point guard so much and gives Lin multiple screens and pick-and-roll situations so he can make something happen. Lin finds his open teammates and gets them involved when he has to, but he also has the ability to score.

We’ll see if America’s CzarLin’ can handle the hype and keep postseason hopes in sight for the blue and orange when New York takes on Toronto Tuesday night.