Pete Carril, master of the Princeton offense and former head basketball coach at Princeton University, is all about back cuts, passing and off-ball picks. One of his former co-coaches, Eddie Jordan, who he worked with in Sacramento in the late 1990s, is now an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers, where the Princeton offense is expected to come into play. But with so many stars all demanding shots, many aren’t sure it will work. Here’s Carril’s take, as told in an interview with Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated:
“What I told Eddie [Jordan] is that it might work for this team for several reasons. One is that you’re going to get easy shots for Kobe Bryant. And over the last several years, I’ve seen where his shots have become harder and harder to get. He’s getting older and more tired, so I’d like to see whether they can get him some easy shots. He’s going to make them.
But you have to set picks to do that, whether you set a pick with Gasol or whoever it is, you’re going to get a free shot and they’re going to find out — the way I did — that the guy who sets the pick, after a while, is going to be more open than the guy that he set the pick for. They’ve got shooters, they’ve got passers, so they can run that. Whether they want to do it? I think Eddie can show them how to do it so it’s not robotic, and it could be effective.”
Even though the Lakers do have four stars in Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, only Kobe is clamoring for shot attempts at all times. So it really could work, and as Carril points out, there are plenty of pass-willing players. Zach Lowe, also at SI, has delved into the Lakers’ potential chemistry issues, lead by Kobe Byrant – and it’s particularly interesting because arguably their best player and franchise cornerstone could also lead to their unhinging, when in fact he might just be the player best suited (and most capable) of this style of play.
Are the Lakers best-suited to this offense?
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