The last two months of the regular season used to mean something to the
Jockeying for playoff position. Sunday afternoon games on ABC. Anticipation of playoff runs deep into May and June.
Now there's only a handful of games to care about: March 12 versus New York, then two against Philadelphia and two against Minnesota.
The Lakers' only battle left is the one for lottery balls.
They're doing a fine job of being bad enough to keep the top-five-protected pick they owe Phoenix for
With so many Lakers on one-year deals or in the last year of their contracts, here are the only players you need to study:
The Lakers already have Clarkson. They hope to land one of the other four.
Clarkson has been a revelation as last year's 46th overall pick, taking over starting point-guard duties a few weeks ago and thriving for the most part.
Now the Lakers' scouting department has to determine what can help them the most in the
Between now and April 15, Tax Day for all Americans and Relief Day for all Lakers fans as the regular season ends, there isn't much else to mark.
There's the trade deadline next Thursday, but it figures to be atypically quiet for the Lakers, especially without the annual Pau Gasol rumors.
Nick Young is next to untradable with his 36.5% shooting accuracy this season and three more years and $16.3 million on his contract.
Jordan Hill has a cap-friendly contract because his player option next season can be declined by an acquiring team, but he's been sidelined by a hip flexor, return date TBA.
Besides, there's the all-important question, almost rhetorical at this point: Do the Lakers really want to get better for their final 29 games?
So they'll muddle around with Clarkson, some journeymen, rookie Tarik Black,
The Lakers just set a franchise record with an 11th consecutive road loss. The worst winning percentage of their 67-year history is a simple formality of the calendar. (If they go 8-21 the rest of the way, they finish below the .264 winning percentage of the 19-53 team in 1957-58.)
Young tried his best to sound optimistic about a team that's lost 15 of its last 16 games. There's not much else to do.
"We've got a lot of guys that are free agents, so I know they are going to be going all-out. People are going to be trying to show their worth," he said. "I know we ain't going to give up. I know we're going to continue to keep going. We'll just see what happens. I think we all need a break and get our minds back right."