Mike D'Antoni's problem as an NBA head coach isn't just a lack of defense; it's a lack of discipline.

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni is not a disciplinarian.  D’Antoni is often ripped for not preaching defense to his teams.  The Phoenix Suns were not known for their great defense (because they didn’t even play good defense), nor were the New York Knicks or the Lakers under D’Antoni.  The problem with D’Antoni isn’t just his lack of attention on the defensive end, it’s that he isn’t a disciplinarian.

Take the game on Monday night against the Chicago Bulls for instance.  If you listened to the game on 104.5 The Team, ESPN Radio, you heard play-by-play announcer Kevin Calabro describing all of the bad shots that the Lakers were taking.  If you watched the game on TNT, you heard Marv Albert and Steve Kerr saying the same thing.

D’Antoni has to hold his players accountable for taking bad shots, yet Chris Duhon and Kobe Bryant kept jacking up bad shot after bad shot.  It was embarrassing.  The Lakers lost 95-83 to fall to (17-24) on the season.  When the New York Knicks kicked D’Antoni to the curb and promoted Mike Woodson as the head coach, Carmelo Anthony told Woodson to hold him accountable.  That is a horrible reflection on D’Antoni.

Melo needed to tell Woodson to hold him accountable because D’Antoni did such a poor job himself.  You can’t be easy on your players to a fault.  Sometimes, you have to be the bad guy.  Sometimes, you have to go Tom Coughlin on your players so that they can reach their full potential.  D’Antoni is not a disciplinarian.  That’s actually the biggest reason, even bigger than his nonchalant attitude toward defensive, why the Lakers are currently failing.

Brian Noe is the Brand Manager at 104.5 The Team, ESPN Radio in Albany, NY.  Brian also hosts “The Noe Show” weekdays from 1-3 pm ET on WTMM.

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