I remember him talking about Virtus Bolognas famous half court defence in a seminar. We are not going to press at 4/4 of the court and steal balls to show off.. We play something more substantive, pressing the opponent on the half court and just stay in front of him all the time. In time, this is what brings results. Today L.A. Lakers are the best defensive team in West and 4th in the whole league, allowed only 90.45 PPG. Thinking deeper maybe they play the most effective defence nowadays. While Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago allowing less points in the traditional defensive and low tempo Eastern Conference, L.A. Lakers face daily the best offensive teams in the game. Dont forget that 9 western teams ranking in the 11 best offensive productions in the league today. Messina has a lot to do with this performance. Coming on L.A. he found a team with great size. Not with so quick legs, but tremendous size. Here demonstrates his saying above. Laker ranking last in the league at steals but their defence is inaccessible. Messinas teams were based on being strong at 2 basic areas. Defence and rebounding. Browns whole coaching stuff worked a lot on those points and the Lakers are now the best rebounding team in the league having two players (Bynum-Gasol) on the top-7 rebounders. Maybe the best part of their defensive performance is that their opponents have the smaller percentage on FGs and FTs ( is directly related with their D as they cut opponents contact with the hoop) in NBA today. NBA teams have a hard time scoring against those Lakers who may not have the quick legs to press so much but they have the toughness, size and smartness to play a strong and comprehensive defence. Although Mike Brown is known for his defensive philosophy, 2012 Lakers have a lot of those Messinas touches, knowing his work in the past.
During his career the Sicilian coach presented some different offensive works and playing styles. From the up-tempo offence of Benetton Treviso-leading by Tyus Edney- to the discipline half court offence on Moscow. Talking in the past about the principles of Csska offensive style, Messina stressed on how important is for a balanced offence to put continuously the ball on the post. Thats what he did on Bologna and Madrid too. In Spain indeed was trying to post a lot with the small forwards (thats why he signed Carlos Suarej and played Velickovic on the 3 spot). At least 20 shots in every game from the post that was his rule in Moscow targeting to wear down the opponents big man so his team would have space to penetrate. This year, Lakers put the ball on the post more than ever taking advantage of the presence of Bynum and Gasol tandem. Messina talked recently about the triangle offense and it’s basic principles (pass and continious move without the ball) helped the Lakers’s new offense which demands more high post and pick n roll game,spacing the floor and reversing the ball from side to side and some ”twin towers” cooperation from the time Brown was at Spurs coaching stαff. Although Messina has the reputation of a defensive minded coach, Mike Brown has been used a lot of his plays in his offensive playbook during his service on Cleveland.
P.S. Instead of an epilogue.. Coach,come back to Europe.. Ok,maybe in one or two years you will be an NBA head coach. It’s obvious that you can. But now we approach the Spring and the Euroleague playoffs we miss you. From a fan..