Lakers Look to Sharpen Before Hosting Nuggets
After dropping the first three games of the season, Byron Scott admitted at Monday’s practice that he is “disappointed,” but the Lakers head coach said that the team is aware of the issues that need cleaning up.
In particular, the defensive end of the ball has been a struggle for the Lakers. Each of L.A.’s opponents have scored more than 100 points, giving them a 115.7 points allowed averaged — the second-highest in the league.
“It’s not taking plays off,” Scott said. “I think at times we relax, and you can’t do that no matter what. For 24 seconds you’ve got to play the whole clock, especially against really good teams and veteran teams. They’re gonna burn you.”
The Lakers first three opponents — Minnesota, Sacramento and Dallas — have indeed burned the Lakers, specifically with ball movement. L.A. has allowed an NBA-high 25.7 assists per game, though Scott attributes this having young talent mixed in with new veterans.
“Our guys are still trying to get our terminology,” Scott said. “They’re still trying to understand our rotations. It takes time. We’ve got nine new guys on this team.”
Bryant Gets Day Off
Scott told Kobe Bryant to take Monday’s practice off to “get his mind off basketball.” The 17-time all-star was especially critical of himself after shooting 3-of-13 in Sunday’s game, going as far as to mockingly call himself the “200th-best player in the league.”
“He expects a whole lot more of himself than most people,” Scott said. “He’s very hard on himself. For him to go at himself like he did, it shows that he cares about coming out here and playing well. It also shows that he’s human as well.”
Bryant has shot just 16-of-51 (31.4 percent) this season, including 6-of-29 on 3-pointers (20.7 percent). But Scott is unconcerned with his shot selection.
“I think he really feels that it’s his fault that he’s not playing the way he’s capable of playing,” Scott said. “He’s going to play that way. He’s going to get to the Kobe that we know. It’s just three games into the season.”
Nance, Bass Questionable
Larry Nance, Jr. has been inactive for the first three games while dealing with a case of right-knee tendinitis. The rookie’s luck kept trending downward on Monday when he broke his nose in practice.
Meanwhile, Brandon Bass had yet to be examined for a corneal abrasion of his left eye, which he suffered against Dallas on Sunday. Both are questionable for Tuesday’s bout with the Nuggets.