The Los Angeles Lakers currently sit in last place in the Western Conference, with the second to worst record in the league. On Friday night, the 14-54 Lakers take on the 18-49 Phoenix Suns, and since their top-three draft pick this summer is protected, many are looking at the lottery percentages heading into the upcoming game.
But, not head coach Byron Scott.
“We’re not in a weird position, as far as I’m concerned,” Scott responded when asked about the weird position he faces, since further wins could impact the lottery percentages. “We play Phoenix and I’m trying to win the game.”
If the Lakers finish where they’re currently at, they will have a 55.8 percent chance of keeping their first round pick. The chance of keeping their lottery pick drops to 46.9 percent if they finish with the third worst record in the NBA. And, if the Philadelphia 76ers (9-58) miraculously finish their season on a winning streak and the Lakers finish with the worst record in the NBA, they will have a 64.3 percent chance to keep the pick.
Of course, neither Scott nor the players are trying to lose games. For whatever reason, the Lakers do have a tendency to come out strong against some of the best teams in the league, but trend toward the opposite when matched up against lesser talented teams.
“I don’t know about tomorrow night, how our guys feel, but hopefully after two very subpar games, that we had a chance to win, they’ll be licking their chops a little and be ready to play,” Scott said.
Veteran Brandon Bass has his theory about what’s contributed to their slow starts.
“I think part of it, is that we’re young,” Bass explained Thursday. “To me, it’s like when you’re a veteran group, you’re more aware of how to come out. In the league as you get older you learn sense of urgency and for me that developed over time.”
Bass suffered a corneal abrasion in Sunday night’s loss to the New York Knicks, but returned to Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practice. Scott expects Bass to play on Friday, but must get cleared in his final doctor’s appointment in the morning.