After the worst win percentage in franchise history last season, the Los Angeles Lakers improved the talent on their roster, highlighted by drafting D’Angelo Russell and trading for Roy Hibbert. While there were expectations the Lakers would improve, they are currently 2-15 and are on an eight-game road trip.
Despite leading by double-digits, the Lakers suffered an all-time low last night by losing to the Philadelphia 76ers, who earned their first win of the season. With the franchise struggling for the third consecutive season, much of the blame has been on head coach Byron Scott.
However, the Lakers are ‘extremely unlikely’ to make a coaching change or player benching according to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports:
In any other context on any other team, this would be the kind of stuff that inevitably leads to one of two things: a coaching firing, or a player benching. But according to a person with knowledge of the Lakers’ situation, it’s extremely unlikely that either option will be exercised anytime soon. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
Although Scott’s game management has been questioned, the organization sees him as an ‘innocent bystander’ in Kobe Bryant’s final season, via Amick:
The strong sense, however, is that Scott is seen largely as an innocent bystander in Bryant’s bon voyage campaign. Scott signed a four-year, $17 million deal in July 2014 to reunite with his former teammate, but the contract is only guaranteed through next season.
Through the first quarter of the new season, Scott has made interesting comments about Kobe’s shot selection despite the five-time champion suffering career-lows in shooting percentage. In a time where player development should be the priority, there have been numerous instances where D’Angelo Russell has not played in fourth quarters.
With the Lakers not expected to make a coaching change, it does not get any easier for the purple and gold. After playing against the 76ers, Los Angeles will have seven more games as part of their longest road trip of the season.