The Los Angeles Lakers are 11-48 and in last place in the Western Conference. They've lost seven in a row, and there have been issues between head coach Byron Scott and some of the younger players on the team.
However, Scott isn't giving up on the season and talked Thursday about his team playing 16 of its final 23 games at home, per Abbey Mastracco of the Los Angeles Daily News:
Anytime you’re at home, you can get into a rhythm or a routine, but it depends on whether or not it’s going to be a good rhythm and routine or a bad rhythm and routine. The one thing about being at home is that you’ve got more distractions than you do on the road, so you’ve got to be able to balance the two.
The Lakers' second-year coach wants to see his team improve not only on the court, but also in how it prepares day in and day out, per Mastracco:
We’ve got to improve, especially on the defensive end, we’ve got to improve on that end of the floor. But I want them to take this very serious about coming to work, getting ready and being prepared instead of being home and thinking, ‘Let’s have some fun.’ You have fun when you’re out there competing. It’s the approach we have to take, and hopefully we take the right approach.
Just because the season is winding down doesn’t mean that you just stop working and trying to get better. That’s our whole objective and that’s what we’re going to do this whole month of March.
Rookie D'Angelo Russell seems to be happy with his head coach's approach, per Serena Winters of Lakers Nation:
D'Angelo Russell: “I want to build that trust now, so that next year he (Byron Scott) knows he can run w/ the young guys in the backcourt.”— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) February 25, 2016
Scott also said he has no plans to shut down Larry Nance Jr., who is still dealing with soreness in his knee stemming from an ACL surgery he had while a member of the Wyoming Cowboys, according to Mastracco.
“It’s experience,” Scott said. “Experience and learning to play with his teammates. Unless (Lakers trainer) Gary Vitti tells me he’s to the point where he can’t play or we shouldn’t play him, and he says he’s ready to play then we’ll play him.”
Scott obviously is not giving up on the team, but the Lakers are still going to end up with one of the three-worst records in the NBA. However, if they can play better down the stretch, gain some confidence and add a strong lottery pick, next season should at least be an improvement from this year.