by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni 

All told, the Los Angeles Lakers have fared pretty well. For a team that had zero expectations this season, and given Kobe Bryant’s ongoing struggles with injuries, a 13-15 record is fairly encouraging.

Of course, these are the Lakers, and their fans aren’t accustomed to cheering for a mediocre squad.

According to head coach Mike D’Antoni, anyone feeling discouraged by this year’s team should simply find another bandwagon to hop on.

Per the LA Daily News:

Mike D’Antoni didn’t exactly show a jovial Christmas spirit following the Lakers’ 117-90 loss Monday to the Phoenix Suns at U.S. Airways Center. But he cried Bah Humbug to any Laker fans who are concerned about the team, ranging from its second consecutive loss, the Lakers’ 13-15 road record, the never-ending injuries, the non-existent defense and a competitive Western Conference.

“Why would I be discouraged? We’re fighting with a bunch of good guys that played well and will play well again,” D’Antoni said. “If they’re discouraged, go find another team to root for. I’m alright. We’re not going to give up. Are you kidding me? Discouraged? That’s not even fair to these guys. They’re going to fight.”

[...] “We’ll be back. We’re not going anywhere,” D’Antoni said. “We’re going to fight and try to stay above .500. If anybody hangs their head, then they don’t need to be on our bandwagon. We’re going to fight. We’ll be fine.”

Speaking of discouragement, these short-handed Lakers will be on full display in a nationally-televised Christmas Day showdown with the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.

Mike D’Antoni can posture all he wants about his team’s play so far this season, but deep down inside, even he knows they’re in for a very rough year:

“Keep your head up, D’Antoni said. “This is a slug fest. This isn’t going to be smooth.”