Something is going right in Lakerdom!Showing how bad things have been, last week’s victory over Phoenix that moved them over .500 was the first time they have fielded a winning team since 2013 when they finished November a heady 9-8.That was under Mike D’Antoni who went 27-55 coaching for his job … which he then walked away from when management wouldn’t guarantee the option year on his contract … instead of tanking the season which would have been the smart-money play if management had thought of it, giving them a shot at Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or (sigh) Joel Embiid.See? Even when the Lakers won (a little), they lost.Last season they finally tanked — or maybe they were just that bad? — going 17-65 to break their record for worst finish … for the third season in a row … keeping their pick from Philadelphia for one more year and drawing No. 2 to get Brandon Ingram. That should pay dividends in the future but that’s then and this is now.Now for the amazing part:Most of the players who have been part of what has gone right this season — Louis Williams, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Nick Young, Larry Nance and Tarik Black — were not only here but in rotation last season.Nick Young?Starting in the same backcourt with Russell? As if anyone saw that coming. Not to cheap-shot Byron Scott, the Old School coach who was stuck with a crumbling Kobe Bryant and inexperienced New School players, but the biggest difference from last season to this can be encapsulated in two words:Luke Walton.It wasn’t hard to figure out the Lakers would go after Luke. I did that last February.It wasn’t clear if he would take the job but the rest was easy: He had gone 39-4 running the Warriors in Coach Steve Kerr’s absence. He was a beloved former Laker. Jeanie Buss was desperate for good p.r..In the really good part for the Lakers, they didn’t just get a coach but a style of play … and it wasn’t the triangle offense Luke ran under Phil Jackson or the simple, defense-oriented scheme they ran under Scott.Instead, it was like the one D’Antoni ran while Laker fans dreamed of running him out of town on a rail every day he was here.Here’s one for Dr. Jerry Buss. His last call before he passed away was to hire D’Antoni over Jackson, which was wildly unpopular with Laker fans and blamed on his son, Jim, with even Jeanie Buss claiming her brother had done Phil in.Unfortunately for the Lakers, they had multiple bigs in Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, making them a better fit for Phil’s offense. With Steve Nash’s injuries and Dwight merely passing through with his skepticism of Bryant, it was a steaming mess, and worse for the following two seasons with Kobe playing only 41 of 164 games.Nevertheless, there’s another term you could use for D’Antoni’s small-ball, floor-spacing, high-powered offense: modern basketball.Kerr installed it in Golden State where Walton learned it, a perfect fit with the Warriors’ smallish, high-firepower roster, leading to their 2015 title.The Spurs’ Gregg Popovich put it in for their last run with Tim Duncan winning titles in 2007 and 2014.The Heat did it with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, winning titles in 2011 and 2012.The Cavaliers are doing it now with Bron and Kyrie Irving, winning last spring.The Clippers do it with a bigger unit, spacing the floor with Chris Paul running high pick-and-rolls with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.Portland, another feared offensive power, does it with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum running pick-and-rolls with Mason Plumlee.Now the Lakers do it with a roster that doesn’t have much size but does have youth, depth … and, lately, promise.It’s not saying much to point out that better days are ahead if the comparison is to the Lakers’ last three seasons, each worse than the one before.Nevertheless, their two top prospects, Russell and Ingram, are barely starting out. D’Angelo went into Saturday’s game in New Orleans averaging just 15.6 points, shooting 39 percent. The blade-thin Ingram, who’ll need time to grow into professional basketball, was averaging 6.1, shooting 37 percent.It remains to be seen where this young team goes from here. If it’s too soon to count on bringing in free agents as the Laker did in their heyday, it’s more doable when you have a future than it was when Kevin Durant et al., dismissed them out of hand because all they had was a past.Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. His column runs weekly during NBA season for the Southern California News Group. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error This just in from the new NBA season:The Warriors aren’t going 82-0, the East is still dominated by LeBron James, wherever he’s playing, the Sixers started on the usual losing streak, Demarcus Cousins is still wacko, but in the really big story on action news:How about them Lakers?No, they’re still not going to finish over .500 or make the playoffs … unless this turns into a whole lot bigger story than it is now… but who imagined this after all these years?