One of the reasons I initially supported the D’Antoni hiring was because of his systems appeal to players. This attribute is beginning to turn into a misconception. When players have interviews after workouts, they are always asked how they think they would fit into the system. Rarely do players actually talk about what the system actually consists of. After his workout with the Knicks, USC shooting guard Demar Derozan was asked how he would like playing in Mike D’Antoni’s uptempo system.
“Who wouldn’t love playing in D’Antoni’s system?” DeRozan asked. “I’d love it. They get out and play. They let their players play. There are no restrictions on any of his players, so every player would love playing for D’Antoni.”
It aggravates me when players think that this system is pick-up basketball. Who doesn’t “let their players play”? The only difference with D’Antoni’s system is that it’s predicated on pushing the ball up the court and getting the best shot available, which usually comes before the defense is set. The fact that Derozan thinks there are “no restrictions” is a huge problem because the offense revolves around ball movement and consequentially, selflessness. It’s essential for potential draft picks to understand this, especially guards. This isn’t And 1 basketball, and executing the system to perfection doesn’t just involve shooting. Stephen Curry referred to the spacing that the system involves, his experience playing in an uptempo system at Davidson, and his shooting and passing abilities helping this team out. When guys like Demar Derozan give answers like that it shows you that there are way too many misconceptions about the system, and Walsh has to think about that when evaluating prospects.