After seeing the Hall of Fame talent surrounding him, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni strolled here into Los Angeles envisioning great things.
He talked about restoring Showtime. D’Antoni boasted his team would average 110-115 points per game. He dismissed on not having a training camp, believing the Lakers’ talent would take care of itself.
Then reality set, and never-ending injuries and conflicting coach and player agendas all brought the Lakers crashing down to a first-round sweep to the San Antonio Spurs.
As with most of the general public, several things leave D’Antoni unsure on how the Lakers’ 2013-14 season will play out.
“We have seven to eight question marks and if we hit on five of them, we’ll have a realy good season,” D’Antoni said. “It’s our job to maximize what we have. I’m comfortable with the talent level. We just have to get them to play together and understand the importance of every possession.”
D’Antoni then rattled off several variables.
“If you’re making the case against, you would say Kobe [Bryant] won’t come back, [Steve] Nash won’t have a great year, Pau [Gasol] will be down. We have a lot of young guys,” D’Antoni said. “You can make the case Kobe will be back in top form, Nash will have a great year. Pau will be an All-Star and we’ll have one or two young guys come through.”
D’Antoni then added about whether Chris Kaman can become effective, whether Nick Young will offer much beyond scoring and whether Xavier Henry will build off becoming a pleasant surprise during training camp.
Did he ever have such question marks?
“New York had a lot of question marks,” D’Antoni said. “It happens. Every team is like this, especially when you’re throwing guys together and rebuilding … We have an abundance of, ‘Wow, this could be really good.’ Or, ‘We really don’t know.'”
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