He was finally on the court to coach his new team. Mike D'Antoni made his long-awaited debut with the Los Angeles Lakers last night in a win against the Brooklyn Nets. D'Antoni was still recovering from knee surgery when he got the Lakers job, so he had not been able to coach the team. His debut was pushed back a couple of times as he still continued to heal from the procedure.
Los Angeles was able to hold off the Nets 95-90 last night thanks to Kobe Bryant's 25 points and Dwight Howard's 23 points. Howard had a terrible night at the free throw line which could have cost the Lakers the game, but they were able to pull through. Howard went 7-for-19 from the charity stripe.
D'Antoni was still unsteady on his surgically-repaired knee says Greg Beachum of NBA.com. But the fact is, he was there. D'Antoni is taking over a team that seemed to lack focus at times, a team that was without an identity. Based on D'Antoni's track record, the Lakers' new identity will be offense.
Most Lakers player have seemed happy with the D'Antoni hiring. Teams like to score point and play little defense for the most part in the NBA. D'Antoni makes that happen, but it has not led him to a championship. Perhaps that can change now that he is in L.A., but first he must dig the Lakers out of the early season hole they put themselves in.
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