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Mike D'Antoni hired: Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace bring defense to offensive-minded coach

The likes of Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace and Kobe Bryant are ready to change the perception that Mike D'Antoni-coached teams don't play defense.

Christian Petersen

Mike D’Antoni is the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and with that comes an offensive mindset. But unlike on his past teams, D’Antoni is taking on a team with players that have made a career out of playing on the other end and they look forward to bringing their offensive-minded coach to the dark side.

Metta World Peace and Howard are both past defensive player of the year award recipients. Kobe Bryant has spent the majority of his career as a regular on all-defensive teams. If the Lakers want to be, they could be a top-tier defensive unit with two premier wing defenders and a low-post defender that can clear up the mistakes made when the Lakers deal with athletic point guards like the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook.

The Orange County Register’s Kevin Ding spoke with Howard and Howard is excited to bring a defensive-mindset to Mike D’Antoni’s already offensively explosive system.

"This will be great. You have guys on this team who love to play defense, and he’s an offensive coach. I think we’ll find a balance… Here, you’ve got myself, Kobe, Metta, who love to D-up… Run and gun, but we can come down on the other end and play defense."

If the defense can match the potential offensive firepower, the Lakers could turn into the team everyone in the league was scared they’d become when Howard and Steve Nash came to town this summer.