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Report: D'Antoni hopes to coach Lakers on Sunday

The SportsXchange

Mike D'Antoni might be ready to begin the job he accepted earlier this week.

The new Los Angeles Lakers coach hopes to be on the bench guiding the team for Sunday's home game against the Houston Rockets, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. D'Antoni is recuperating from a recent knee-replacement operation.

"I think (I will coach Sunday) unless I wake up too tired," D'Antoni said, according to the website. "I'm getting there. It's getting a lot better."

The Lakers are 3-1 under interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who continued to guide the team Friday, a day after D'Antoni's introductory press conference. The Lakers routed the Phoenix Suns 114-102 Friday.

"I thought we were a little tired. I didn't think we were aggressive early. The second half was a lot better," D'Antoni said, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com. "It's one of those deals where guys just tightened up and did a little bit better. They were a little more conscientious and put a little more energy into it. But when everything is new, and you're thinking about what you're supposed to do instead of playing, things happen like that."

Bickerstaff filled in after the Lakers fired Mike Brown following a 1-4 start. The team interviewed legendary former coach Phil Jackson but wound up hiring D'Antoni, the former Suns and New York Knicks coach.
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