Interesting piece on new Laker coach Mike D'Antoni, who seems to both have a handle of what he's in for and is very honest about it.
"I'm going to do everything I can do to win a championship," D'Antoni said Tuesday afternoon on the "Mason and Ireland" show on ESPNLA 710. "If we're not at least in the hunt, a serious hunt, then I've failed as a head coach. I'm comfortable with that."
With a starting line-up with three sure-fire Hall of Famers and a probable forth in Pau Gasol, the only thing between the Lakers and releasing the hounds on that serious hunt is the egos on the team; mismanagement of the Knick egos might have been D'Antoni's downfall in New York, but the Lakers seem more mature than the ones in the Garden.
If D'Antoni can get those egos to mesh where folks like Kobe and Howard might have fewer points but more wins in an ensemble cast, then we're in for a playoffs for the ages, where OKC and San Antonio and the Lakers and maybe one or two others (the Clippers come to mind) will wind up having Western semi-finals that will have the firepower of a good league finals.
Not to say that the East is chopped liver. The Heat are back and loaded, a retooled Boston may prove interesting and a revamped Knicks could be a factor, along with Chicago if Rose gets back by playoff time.
Meanwhile, the Pistons are 0-8, but not 0-8 bad. This isn't going to be their year,to be sure, but there are a lot of bright young players that are starting to mesh, just not enough to win games so far. At least that's the glass-half-full way to watch.