For the second consecutive game and one of many times this season, the Los Angeles Lakers came out lackluster from the start in their loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. At Wednesday’s practice, head coach Byron Scott questioned his players’ commitment to taking the game seriously.
“Game day, to me, has always been the biggest thing that day that’s going on in your life,” Scott said on Wednesday. “I don’t know if our guys are taking that serious, but they’ve got to get to that point where they are.”
It was once again the bench unit, spurred by a combination of 17 points from Lou Williams, a selfless style of play from Marcelo Huertas and energy from the rest of the reserves that allowed the Lakers to cut a 23-point deficit to six points. Scott is still waiting to see that unselfish style of play carry over to his first unit.
“The first unit, they’re so young that the one thing that I really have to do is break them of bad habits, that they’ve developed in their AAU days and everything of just doing it myself,” Scott said. “The one thing I’m trying to make them realize is that they’ve got to do it together. The second unit does a beautiful job of just coming in and playing within themselves and playing within the system. Our first unit has to learn to do that as well and if they do, they’ll find out how much better they are as a team rather than individuals.”
The second unit has both a true point guard and experience, two areas the Lakers starting lineup is lacking. Though D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson have no trouble scoring the ball, there’s been a shortage of efficient ball movement in the starting lineup.
“I think our guys, sometimes, get to the stubbornness of thinking that they can do it on their own and not understanding that they still have to rely on one another,” Scott said about the first unit on Wednesday.
Nick Young picked up his third consecutive DNP in their loss to the Kings last night, and it’s unclear whether he will find his way back into the rotation. Scott said he’s currently experimenting with Larry Nance. Jr. at the small forward position, which is eating up potential minutes for Young.
Brandon Bass, who missed Monday’s practice and Tuesday’s game with a corneal abrasion in his right eye, practiced on Wednesday’s non-contact practice. If he’s able to practice tomorrow, he’s expected to play on Friday when the Lakers are back in action against the Phoenix Suns.