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Lakers officially offer head coaching job to Byron Scott

The new leader of the Purple and Gold
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers make it official and finally have their head coach after offering the position to former player and three-time champion Byron Scott. Scott and the Lakers are in the process of negotiating a contract. What took so long? The type of offense he will lead and length of the deal were the culprits or main topics of conversation. Until recently the Los Angeles Lakers were normally in the championship conversation. http://who-will-be-the-next-los-angeles-lakers-head-coach

It has been four years since the Lakers hoisted the Larry O'Brien trophy. A Los Angeles Lakers turnaround and return to prominence will take time Scott would like to lead the Lakers into the future on say a 3-6 year deal. Immediately after Mike D'Antoni resigned, took half of his $4 million for the upcoming season as a buyout. The Lakers stated that they would cast a wide net in their search for a head coach.

The reality was that the Lakers discussed the head coaching position with six coaches Lionel Hollins, Alvin Gentry, Kurt Rambis, Byron Scott, Mike Dunleavy and George Karl. All six of the coaches that the Lakers spoke with could handle the job, but Byron Scott was the best choice for the position at this time for the following reasons. Scott checks off all of the boxes for Lakers management; won three championships as a Laker, coached the New Jersey Nets to the playoffs within two seasons and to the NBA Finals twice.

Scott took the New Orleans Hornets to the playoffs within four seasons, allows the front office to bring a family member back home that knows what being a Laker means, has a great relationship with Kobe Bryant, knows of the challenges of coaching in Los Angeles, has dealt with the Los Angeles media and knows the lofty expectations of the fan base. Byron Scott's coaching philosophy is simple efficiency on both sides of the ball. Scott has implemented the Princeton offense at all of his stops and will in Los Angeles. Scott has also quietly implemented some top ranked defenses as well.

What is the Princeton offense? An offensive strategy that emphasizes constant motion relies on high post positioning, precision cuts, picks on and off the ball, backdoor passing and disciplined teamwork. The Princeton offense
has some similarities to triangle offense that the Lakers ran for over a decade.

The difference between the two, the Princeton offense used lots of screens, picks and constant passing of the ball. One of the more prolific masters of it was Rick Adelman in Houston and with Sacramento. The triangle offense uses space between players to give them options as the defense adjusts.

The Princeton offense helps a team control the pace of a game. Regarding pace, think of it as (estimated possessions per game), Scott's Nets teams (12th-91.8, 9th-91.8, 10th-91.6) ranked in the top-15 a fast pace in three of the four years in New Jersey. Scott's Hornets teams always ran one of the 10 slowest paced offenses in the NBA, including ranking 26th (89.9) and 28th (87.8) in pace in two playoff seasons.

The biggest challenge for Byron Scott in his return to the purple and gold will be implementing a defensive system.
In a league of 30 teams the Lakers ranked 29th defensively last season. The Lakers allowed on average 109.2 points per game, but exceeded that amount on 39 occasions as the purple and gold allowed 120 points 10 times, 130 points three times and 140 points three times.

Byron Scott's teams have only made the playoffs when ranking in the top 5 in points allowed per game; in New Jersey this meant ranking 5th and 2nd (92.0, 90.1), in New Orleans this meant ranking 5th twice (95.6, 94.3). Scott's teams defensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions), was excellent the Nets ranked 1st in the league twice advancing to the NBA Finals
(99.5, 98.1).

The Hornets were equally at a high level, ranking 7th and 9th (105.7, 107.0). Scott's Nets playoff teams excelled
in forcing opponents to commit turnovers and take bad shots, his Hornets playoff teams thrived on dominating defensive rebounding and limiting their opponents' three-point percentage.

The Lakers have their coach and competitive mixture of veterans and youth to run Byron Scott's offense. It is impossible to predict a playoff run or a championship for the Lakers in the 2014-2015 season, but it is safe to say that the Lakers will be a much more competitive team.