NBA general managers are playing it safe with predictions this season.
"You know what, I don't think he went berserk (about the ranking) because he's motivated enough anyway," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said Tuesday night. "It does not matter. This guy is dedicated for the Lakers fans, for himself, for us as a team. He'll do everything he can. I don't think it helps him, hurts him. It's just maybe one more thing that's pushing him, but he doesn't really need it. He's pretty good."
"They probably took into account that he's got an Achilles tendon out," D'Antoni noted. "That's the only thing I can think about. He's probably the second best with a torn Achilles, so that's all I know."
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.