The Los Angeles Lakers tied a franchise-worst 10-game losing streak in a lopsided loss to the Charlotte Hornets, adding further insult to what's become an embarrassing season for a very proud franchise. Lakers head coach Byron Scott's spoke with media following practice and opened up about his mindset as the team tries to break out of a horrendous funk.
"When you're losing and you have a losing streak, it's a challenge. It's a challenge to you as a man, it's a challenge to you as a basketball player. Our guys have to take that to heart, and hopefully we will," Scott said. "You've gotta' find the silver lining through any situation -- any negative situation that you're going through. The one thing for me, it tells me who I want to be in the foxhole with. As a coach, who do you want? Who's going to come every night and be ready to fight and battle?"
Has he learned which players are ready to "fight" with him? "I'm learning," he concluded.
Scott also said the team had a very productive film session before hitting the practice floor, pointing out some of the many negative things they've struggled with."Not blocking out, just kind of turning and watching the ball as the shot's in the air. Guys aren't paying really good attention to putting contact on guys and then going and getting the rebound. We showed some transition defense as well where we're not really running. We're running with our man instead of running to the paint and playing from the paint out," Byron said. "Those are things that are effort. Those are things that we can control."
"It seemed that our guys took it a lot more at heart today when they looked at it on film. When I would look at guys in the film room, when we were pointing them out, they would just kind of put their head down in disgust," he added when asked if players were taking accountability to what they were viewing during the session.
Another issue that Scott alluded to is the lack of in-game communication despite being vocal during practice. "We talk out here (in practice) all the time, but we get in the game and we act like we're strangers."
"It surprises me, and it's mind-boggling to me, and they know it's a problem."
Issues are easy to pick out from the Lakers, but Scott giving actual information on what kind of things they're trying to address is a step in the right direction. Transparency goes a long way in accountability and understanding from a distance, and the Lakers clearly struggle in the areas Byron pointed to. L.A. gives up the third-most fast break points in the NBA (15.6 per game) and the most second-chance points league-wide (14.9). Those are clear factors as to why they give up a league-worst 108.2 points per 100 possessions, via NBA.com.
It's easy to pile on Scott, but it's important to pick out what the team is actually doing behind the scenes. The limited information we're allowed to observe from a distance skews perception significantly, but is an important piece of the puzzle to snap into place when the opportunity presents itself. A single film room session isn't going to change the trajectory of these Lakers, but knowing where and how to improve is incredibly important for a team filled with youth in development.
We'll find out if a solid practice and film session is enough to prevent the Lakers from breaking the losing streak record set two decades ago when the Minnesota Timberwolves come to town Tuesday.