(Photo: Reuters/Jim Urquart)
The Los Angeles Lakers will meet longtime rival San Antonio Spurs tonight in Staples Center just days after closing the deal with new head coach Mike D'Antoni, who likely won't be steering the team just yet given his recent knee surgery. The Lakers (3-4) vs. Spurs (6-1) game can be seen starting at 10:30 pm ET online through live stream in the link below.
D'Antoni, who resigned from coaching the New York Knicks earlier this year, is known for his fast-pace offense system and joined the Lakers after the dismissal of Coach Mike Brown for the team's 1-4 start – the worst start to a season in nearly a decade.
"D'Antoni has a Super Team," commented TNT analyst and former Lakers player Shaquille O'Neal, according to the LA Times. "He has a lot of talent and his core guys like Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Metta [World Peace] have championship experience, so they know what it takes. I still like their chances."
He continued, "Mike D'Antoni has taken a lot of criticism for not coaching defense, but if the guys are playing well, playing with a lot of energy, I'm sure they'll be fine. If you look at Phil Jackson, he wasn't really known as a defensive coach, either."
Former Lakers Coach Phil Jackson was also in discussion with the team as a possible replacement for Mike Brown. However, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak told ESPN that part of the decision to go with D'Antoni was that they didn't feel that the current team would work with well under Jackson's Triangle offense.
Tonight's game between the Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs starts at 10:30 p.m. ET and can be watched online through live stream by clicking here.