LOS ANGELES — He had major knee replacement surgery just three weeks ago. Now that he’s finally on the bench with his team, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni was asked if he felt that his team was more secure with their leader on the sidelines with them.
“They haven’t seen me coach. They should be scared — they should be real scared,” a smiling D’Antoni told the media after Tuesday night’s 95-90 win over the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center. “Hopefully that’ll make them play harder.”
They did play hard down the stretch, overcoming a six-point deficit with less than five minutes to play to reach 6-5, the first time this season they have sat above .500. After the game, some players acknowledged that D’Antoni’s presence provided a boost that factored into the comeback victory for a team that had struggled to match their coach’s intensity until that final push.