By Ian Thomsen
October 22, 2013
Can Kevin Durant and the Thunder squelch LeBron James and the Heat's three-peat hopes in '13-14?
Greg Nelson/SI

If so, it will begin at the epicenter of ownership, where Jeannie and Jim Buss clearly have not agreed over who should be coaching the team they inherited from their father. The question is whether D'Antoni can survive the year, and the guess here is that he will: This team is going to be the Pacific version of the 2010-11 Knicks, who got off to a strong start and built up the value of their role players high enough to enable a trade for Anthony at the deadline. A bunch of shooters will surround the playmaking Gasol, with Nash (in spite of limited minutes) joining with Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar to play in the flow. And then Kobe Bryant will join them, and with him the Lakers will return to the playoffs as D'Antoni earns consideration for coach of the year. To pick the Lakers to make the playoffs is to express faith in Bryant. His career has earned him that much.

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