Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni was just happy to get in the “front door” as the Lakers clinched the seventh seed and a showdown with the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.
Prior to the Lakers game, the team found out they had clinched a playoff spot, but by virtue of their victory over the Houston Rockets, the Lakers are the seventh seed.
With the Lakers stuck at 17-25 there were those that doubted the Lakers had a chance to make the playoffs, let alone become the seven seed.
After the game, D’Antoni said he was pleased with the progress the team has made and was proud of the way they’ve fought through adversity:
Obviously were really proud. We’ve played an elimination game almost every night. We went through a lot of stuff this year. (After Parsons sent the game to overtime), Dwight or Steve said: It’s been hard all year.
With a loss, the Lakers would’ve faced the Oklahoma City Thunder and without Kobe Bryant and the uncertainty facing Steve Nash, it would’ve been an enormous task for the Lakers to advance.
However, after beating the Spurs on Sunday night, the Lakers are confident going into their series with the Spurs as the locker room never lost confidence.
D’Antoni talked about his personal history with the Spurs:
“San Antonio is a great team and it’s not like i’ve gone to San Antonio and dominated them. It is what it is, the objective was to get in the front door get in and get better”
After Rockets forward Chandler Parsons sent the game to overtime, the Lakers showed a lot of character and bogged down on the defensive end. D’Antoni was pleased with the team’s effort on the defense and ability to overcome several obstacles tonight.
With the series with the Spurs looming on Sunday afternoon, the Lakers need to continue their defensive intensity and overcome adversities during the game.
In case you missed it, be sure to check out what Mitch Kupchak had to say about the Lakers amnestying Kobe Bryant!
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