Byron Scott has an idea to fix Lakers’ seeming energy shortage
Coach Byron Scott couldn’t stop watching video of the Lakers’ embarrassing loss Friday to the Sacramento Kings.
He endured almost two quarters of it on the plane ride home, watching the Kings score 74 points before halftime. Then he watched more of it Saturday morning.
He noticed the Lakers’ lousy defense in a 132-114 loss. How could he not?
But he saw something else too. They seemed tired.
Known for his tough training camps and sometimes long practices, Scott asked players before Saturday’s practice why they looked so fatigued the previous night.
“Got a lot of feedback,” Scott said. “We’re going to try and do a few different things the next couple of days and see how that works, see if we can have a little bit more energy for the game.”
Scott will temporarily shorten practices and also game-day morning shoot-arounds, he said.
“Like I told them, a lot of that depends on them as well. If I do that, they’ve got to be extremely focused on what we have to do on that day and let’s get it done,” Scott said. “Hopefully we have enough energy to come out and play as hard as I know we’re capable of playing.”
Players noted publicly how tough Scott’s training camp was in early October.
As veteran forward Brandon Bass said at the time: “I feel like I’m in great shape. Or at least I’m getting there faster than I would in other training camps.”
Bass was familiar with Scott’s camps after spending his first two NBA seasons playing for him in New Orleans.
“I hoped it was going to be something different” this time, he said in early October. “I ain’t mad. I know he’s trying to bring the best out of us.”
Some teams, including the NBA champion Golden State Warriors, skipped two-a-days completely during camp. The Lakers had a few days of twice-daily practice sessions.
Maybe there was a fatigue carryover from training camp, Scott acknowledged. In fact, Bass was one of the players who told Scott on Saturday he was tired.
“I know how hard he plays and on the tape I saw him laboring,” Scott said. “His answer to me was, ‘Yeah, Coach, I was a little tired last night but I’m going to still play as hard as I can.’ My whole thought process with that is if he was tired, then I know there’s a lot of other guys that were tired as well.”
The Lakers (0-2) weren’t the only team that looked spent this early in the season, Scott said.
“Sacramento said the other day against the Clippers they were tired,” Scott said. “It’s not just us. Some teams it hits earlier than others.”
Maybe, but the Kings looked as if they recovered before playing the Lakers. They ripped through the Lakers’ defense with ease and scored an overwhelming 80 points in the paint Friday.
The Lakers play Dallas on Sunday and Denver on Tuesday; both games are at Staples Center.
Scott had an interesting observation while the Lakers were in Sacramento. It had to do with rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell, who couldn’t contain Rajon Rondo (21 points, eight assists) after struggling to stop Ricky Rubio (28 points, 14 assists) in the opener.
“I think he’s starting to get that every night in this league there’s going to be somebody at that point-guard position that’s pretty damn good. They look at him as fresh meat,” Scott said. “He’s a rookie, he’s young, inexperienced, so most of these guys are going to go at him.”
Russell is averaging 8.5 points and two assists in two games. He is shooting 41.2%.
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