The final six games will be a youth movement for the Lakers, as Byron Scott said at Monday’s practice that veterans Lou Williams and Brandon Bass will likely remain out of the rotation for the remainder of the season.
Scott claimed the move stems from a desire to play young guards D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson for about 35 minutes per game, while also wanting to get more time for sophomore center Tarik Black.
Neither Williams nor Bass — who will continue to suit up in case they are needed — played in Sunday’s loss to Boston, though both had been playing well lately.
Aside from March 1 — when he strained his hamstring and played only 10 minutes — Williams had scored double figure in 17 straight contests, including a 30-point outburst against Phoenix on March 18.
Meanwhile, Bass had provided meaningful minutes off the bench, averaging 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds this year while leading the team with 86 dunks.
Another player not likely to play for the remainder of the season is Nick Young, who hasn’t hit the floor in the last 11 games.
Despite Young being involved in a highly publicized incident with Russell, Scott maintained that his status “has everything to do with just basketball,” rather than team chemistry.
“Right now I know what he’s going through and I know it’s hard on him, but right now he’s not here with us mentally,” Scott said. “And there’s no need for me to put him out there on the floor right now.”
Scott also said that Larry Nance Jr. will sit out on Tuesday due precautionary reasons surrounding his sore knee, but will play on Wednesday.
To the Big Fella
Scott offered some praise to his former teammate, Shaquille O’Neal, who was announced that morning as a member of this year’s Basketball Hall of Fame class.
Scott and O’Neal played together for the 1996-97 Lakers in the former’s final season. Scott later coached against O’Neal during the Lakers’ sweep over New Jersey in the 2002 NBA Finals.
“When he was in his prime, he dominated the game,” Scott said. “He changed the way a lot of guys looked at post players. … When he was really serious about playing a game, you couldn’t stop him. There’s nothing you could do.”