The Los Angeles Lakers are working on internal improvements after receiving harsh criticism following their free agency meetings with LaMarcus Aldridge. Advanced scout Clay Moser will join the front office as a "liason" for the Lakers' analytics department, reports Bill Oram of the OC Register. Moser's role will be to be a "pipeline of ideas" between the analytics team and front office.
The Lakers' statistical approach to basketball has been questionable at best. Aldridge was reportedly unimpressed with what the Lakers had to say about their on-court approach. Mitch Kupchak and Byron Scott met with Aldridge a second time, but still walked away without leaving a lasting impression.
Lakers head coach Byron Scott has yet to embrace analytics, but the franchise taking a proactive approach to developing arguably the weakest facet of their team is an interesting detail. The need to add a mediator that can help express ideas between the analytics team and Scott is also telling.
How this progresses will be interesting to keep an eye on. Scott isn't a believer in the numbers behind the game while Mitch Kupchak has referenced their uses to a coaching staff, via Oram:
Coach Byron Scott has been especially resistant to analytics.
Madsen provided Scott with a weekly breakdown of advanced statistics, but in February Scott said those numbers have never influenced a basketball decision.
He said he listens to the information when its brought to him, but that he is "still just old school."
The disconnect became apparent in February when Mitch Kupchak told KSPN/710 that analytics are "of most use to a coaching staff." Scott, however, said he had no use for them.
"I think we've got a few guys who believe in them," he said. "I'm not one of them."
The Lakers are investing resources to improve their analytics, but have a coach that doesn't embrace the approach. Ultimately how Scott feels about this development is inconsequential. This is a small step for a long-term improvement that should only help the Lakers build their on-court product. Even if they aren't applying the principles they explore this season, they're building up the department for the future.