Despite dismal season, Lakers are still playing like professionals

The Lakers are eliminated for the Western Conference playoffs, but they're still working and playing hard

The Lakers have been eliminated for the Western Conference playoffs, their season barreling toward the end.

But just because the Lakers are having one of the worst seasons in franchise history doesn't mean they can't continue to work hard.

Lakers Coach Bryon Scott wouldn't have it any other way from his players.

Scott said he has seen a very good effort because his players are working and playing hard and because his staff continues to work and develop their players.

"I put a lot on them," Scott said about his players. "They are professionals. They understand that each game is its own separate entity and you got to come ready to play."

The Lakers were 17-49 entering Thursday night's game against the Utah Jazz at Staples Center.

Even with just 16 regular-season games left before they played the Jazz, Scott's coaching staff was on the court before the game running players through drills.

"I give my staff a lot of credit too," Scott said. "We prepare every game like we were 40-15. That's how you have to look at it. We go into every game the same way, preparing to get these guys ready to win a basketball game. That's all we can do. Their job is to make sure they're ready to play. And they've done a good job of that."

Hairy conversation

Scott got a chuckle out of Nick Young's new haircut, saying it looked like "a bunch of worms."

Young later responded that the bald-headed Scott didn't have room to talk about someone's hairstyle.

"I'm bald by choice," Scott said, smiling. "I could still grow hair, so that kind of blows his theory right out of the water. I just call it as I see it."

Scott was reminded that if Young does return sometime this season from a small fracture on his left knee that has sidelined the forward for the last 12 games, he might want to be kinder to his coach.

After all, Scott handles all the playing time for the players.

"I think if he gets to the point where he knows he can get back on the court, he'll be a little bit nicer," Scott said.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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