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Byron Scott and D'Angelo Russell say the Lakers lack trust

Trust falls, anyone?

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

After the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, their 56th defeat of the season, head coach Byron Scott had a simple reason for the team's struggles.

"There's nothing I can install to make them trust each other," Scott told Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News following the game. "They have to figure it out."

Scott has often spoken this season about players not trusting each other in reference to the players tendencies to isolate and try and score themselves. While the trust issue is intangible, if one uses assists as a measurement for how much the team is passing Scott is not wrong. The Lakers rank 28th out of 30 NBA teams in assisted field goal ratio, setting each other up to score on just 51.5 percent of their possessions this season.

Russell agreed with his head coach that trust was an issue against Phoenix and shouldered the blame himself:

Against the Suns, the Lakers assisted on a mere 33.3 percent of their baskets, so if the lack of playmaking was Scott's major issue, it was real in the loss. However, it should be noted that the two offenses ranking behind the Lakers in assist ratio are the Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors, who rank 15th and fifth in the league in offensive efficiency, respectively. The Lakers rank 29th.

Trust could be a real issue for the team, but looming just as large is their relatively simple offense and lack of a consistent plan on defense. It's hard to assign blame with any certainty for where fault lies for those issues ithout being in the locker room, but with just 11 games to go in another lottery bound campaign, the Lakers have very little time to "figure it out."

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