Is Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni On a One-Year Hot Seat?

Mike D'Antoni is either the luckiest NBA coach in history or this year's recipient of the Lame Duck Award, given annually to the league's most obvious human pinata.

Following the carnage that was the Lakers 2012-13 season, D'Antoni kept his job despite a four-game sweep in the first round of the playoffs and the dramatic departure of center Dwight Howard. 

Management called Howard's bluff, did not fire their coach, and watched the big man leave town.

With Dwight Howard dribbling his way to Houston, Steve Nash fighting age and injury, and Kobe Bryant working his way back from a serious Achilles injury, the Lakers upcoming season is far from rosy.

When your starting center (Pau Gasol) is a 33-year-old former All-Star who was benched last year because the head coach wanted to "try to win", you've got to be thinking that it's going to be another bumpy ride for what is arguably the most iconic franchise in NBA history.

ESPNLA's Arash Markazi seems to think that if "the team shows progress and makes the playoffs", then D'Antoni will keep his job after this season.  Is that really enough? 

Critics will argue that D'Antoni had all the ammunition he needed to meld last year's Lakers into championship contenders.

Despite having four players (Nash, Howard, Gasol and Bryant) who one day will enter the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, D'Antoni spent much of the season trying to figure out how to coach them. 

He eventually gave way, allowing his starters to determine what was the best "system" for them to be successful.  It certainly wasn't his.

Only the unrelenting determination of one Kobe Bryant kept the Lakers from fading into regular season oblivion before one playoff game had even been whistled.  We all know what happened—Bryant does more than he should, plays too long, ruptures his Achilles, and the Lakers get swept o...

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