LOS ANGELES Ten games into the season, it's probably safe to say that the Lakers have arrived. Or they've returned, depending upon your point of view.
Dwight Howard is back. So is his back. Pau Gasol is back. Enthusiasm is back. Entertaining and effective basketball has arrived at Staples Center, as the Lakers won their second in a row with Mike D'Antoni in the building, beating the Houston Rockets 119-108.
D'Antoni is still unable to coach games as he recovers from knee replacement surgery performed on Halloween. But he's running practices and is involved in the game-planning and at halftime. His influence is undeniable. The results are, too, even with the past and future maestro of D'Antoni's offense Steve Nash missing his eighth game in a row after fracturing his left leg on October 31.
Interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff who is 4-1 during his stint since Mike Brown's firing has done a great job of awakening the basketball player in each of th...