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D'Antoni laughs at many Lakers‘ fans notion that his shortened rotations late in the season are the reason for their injuries now, including Bryant’s torn Achilles tendon at the close of a minutes-heavy season. Los Angeles finished the regular season on a 28-12 surge, rallying from seven games below .500 in late January to the seventh seed in the West.

“We were trying to get in the playoffs, and we went short (because) we had injuries,” D'Antoni said. “Some guys had to play heavier minutes than normal. Most of the year, we played 10 guys. I don’t know how many guys people want us to play. Matter of fact, when we were (losing), we were playing a lot of guys. We shortened it up to get to the playoffs. Take your pick: We can have everybody rested and be at the beach right now, or we can be in the playoffs.”