The Los Angeles Lakers 103-81 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night was their 61st loss of the year, guaranteeing them at best a tie for the worst overall record in franchise history. The team's previous low was set last year, when the ragtag outfit that boasted Ed Davis as its leader in win shares (6.3, per Basketball-Reference) went 21-61 over the full season. If the 2015-16 Lakers do not end the season on a shocking five-game win streak, they will go down as the worst Lakers team of all-time.
Lakers head coach Byron Scott says he has run out of adjustments to make on the floor to make such an unexpected run of success possible.
"I got to that point probably about a month ago," Scott said when asked after the game if he ever felt like he wasn't sure what else he could do to help the team. "Still wake up in the middle of the night trying to figure that one out. But like I said, I'm going to just keep preaching to the guys about what we need to do on a night to night basis until the season is over, and then when it's over then I'll focus my attention on the offseason."
Scott says the adjustment needs to come on the part of his younger players.
"It's a shame that Metta and Kobe, guys of an age like that, they come out and play that hard, and our young guys aren't realizing that's how they have to play as well to be successful in this league on a night to night basis," said Scott. "It's very frustrating. In this league, if you're going to be soft and passive, you're normally going to get knocked out or beat, and that's what's happening to us right now. You got to be initiating, you got to be the aggressor, and maybe some of the make-up of our guys is just not that. I don't know. But if they're not, they're going to have to change if they want to survive in this league, because that's how it's gotta be."
This is far from the first time Scott has called his players' effort into question. After a recent defeat at the hands of the Sacramento Kings, Scott said his team wasn't "ready to play," a pet phrase of his after losses. In December, he called the Lakers' "pathetic" and said they played "scared." Last year he repeatedly called the team soft.
That's far from a conclusive list, but the common theme is this: when Byron Scott's teams lose, he blames the players. Whether the front office does the same will determine whether or not Scott, the head coach of the two worst Lakers teams ever, will remain in that position heading in to the 2016-17 season.