After an encouraging win on Sunday night against the Detroit Pistons, the Los Angeles Lakers took a step back on Monday as they were blown out down the stretch against the Phoenix Suns in the fourth quarter.
Without Kobe Bryant, who rested after playing a season-high 37, minutes, the team’s issues with turnovers and rebounding again reared its head as the Lakers fell to 2-8 on the season.
Head coach Byron Scott offered up no excuses for his team as he said the Lakers simply needed to man up according to LakersNation.com reporter Serena Winters:
Byron Scott once again called for players to "man up," said he thought the Suns effort was "10 times better" than the Lakers
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 17, 2015
Some would point to the Lakers being on the second night of a back-to-back as a reason why the team faded down the stretch, but Scott didn’t care about that either according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
Byron also didn't want to hear about possible Laker fatigue in 2nd game of back-to-back. "That to me is a bunch of crap."
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) November 17, 2015
The 19-point loss was the largest of the season and it is obvious that something will need to change if the Lakers hope to salvage a respectable season. Scott has used this kind of language in talking about the Lakers before, and it is never a good thing to have to question the toughness of one’s team.
The Lakers have shown flashes this season, but consistency has not been there yet. Whether Scott can get this team back on the right track remains to be seen, but this season could be well out of hand very soon if something isn’t figured out.