Do you figure you are a playoff team? I asked, and who better to ask than the guy hired to coach the Lakers into the playoffs?
"I hope we are," he said. "Yeah, I mean we're good enough to be…"
Are they? They are now 3-13 against the top five teams in the West after blowing a lead and then squeezing past Memphis, so why does he think the team is suddenly good enough to be playoff-worthy?
As I continued to quiz him, he just shut up, closed his eyes and looked like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz wishing she might find herself elsewhere.
Then he just plain got rattled, and began talking like a man asked if he had any last words and wanted to say a lot.
"We are good enough to be a playoff team, injuries happen, people get sick, the world comes to an end, I don't know until we get in, we're not in and we're going to play every game the way we're supposed to play it and we're going to play as hard as we can play and hopefully we can get in," said D'Antoni without taking a breath or throwing in a period anywhere.
It might be the most impressive thing he's done since arriving.
And doesn't that say a lot, Utah just pathetic and the Lakers having to fight every inch of the way to nose them out.
What difference has D'Antoni meant this season?
Doesn't D'Antoni need to show something more before anyone thinks next season will be any different, or he should return as coach?
He's certainly not inspiring. For the most part he usually sounds beleaguered, befuddled or beaten.
As disappointing as the Lakers have been, it's crushing to know now what might have been, given what's happened recently in the West.
San Antonio and Denver have been hit hard with injuries, the Clippers haven't shown the toughness that nudged them ahead a year ago and without Rudy Gay, Memphis can't score from the outside. If the Grizzlies could, they would have beaten the Lakers.
Oklahoma City isn't as strong without James Harden, but is appearing like the best in the West. And the Thunder will probably be the Lakers' opponent in Round 1.
I think I know what D'Antoni would say if asked if the Lakers can hang with the Thunder.