Earlier in the season, head coach Byron Scott praised the value of road trips, saying they tend to bring teams closer together. Now, as the Lakers prepare for three straight games outside of California, Scott maintains that his squad is well past the need for bonding.
“Our chemistry on this team is pretty good,” Scott said before his team left for its five-day road trip — its longest thus far in the season. “Guys enjoy being with each other. They don’t dislike each other. So that’s a good thing to have.”
The Lakers, who faced the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City on Friday, will continue with three away from home in Phoenix, New Orleans and San Antonio. L.A. has struggled on the road recently, dropping seven of its last eight games outside of STAPLES Center.
Monday’s matchup with the Suns should be an especially big test for the Lakers, who have lost seven straight in Phoenix and are looking to avoid being swept by their Pacific Division foes for the first time in 10 years.
“The last one we played (against Phoenix) was a close game, came down to the wire,” Nick Young said, referring to L.A.’s nine-point loss on Dec. 30. “We’ve just got to stay with it: lower the transition points and continue to play ball.”
Price, Bryant Uncertain
Ronnie Price (sore right elbow) and Kobe Bryant (rest) both missed Friday’s game against Utah, and Scott has yet to determine their availability for the upcoming road trip.
The head coach said he is leaning toward keeping Price out Monday, and — like with every other recent game — will decide on Bryant’s status the day of each game.
“To be honest with you with Ronnie, I’m thinking more of sitting him down one more game and just seeing how that thing reacts,” Scott said. “He said he feels much better, but he hasn’t shot a basketball either. I want to give him another day if I can, or two.”