New Lakers head coach Byron Scott thinks current roster can be competitive

Byron Scott said he agreed to coach the Lakers next season. AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Byron Scott said he agreed to coach the Lakers next season. AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t exactly hit the home runs they were hoping for in free agency after going after superstars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and ultimately losing out to Cleveland and New York.

But the roster additions they were able to make, which include Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis, were enough to have new head coach Byron Scott excited.

Scott, who was introduced to the media Tuesday morning at the team’s practice facility, was asked about the prospects of the current makeup of the team. While it was a response that will excite fans, Scott also outlined the major issue with the team.

“The one thing I told Mitch (Kupchak) and Jim (Buss) in our last meeting is that I think that they put together a roster that will be very competitive,” said Scott to reporters. “The main thing I have to do right away is establish ourselves as a defensive basketball team.”

Scott harped on the need for a defensive turnaround, pointing to what teammate and Lakers legend Magic Johnson (who attended the press conference) told him when he entered the league: they will win championships with their defensive effort, that offense “comes and goes” night after night but what the team can control is the defensive effort.

The Lakers ranked No. 29 in the league in points allowed with 109.2 points per game last season.

“I like the roster that Mitch put together,” said Scott. “It has a little bit of youth and experienced guy, and I’m looking forward to working with them.”

In addition to his thoughts on the roster, Scott was asked if he could provide a timetable for when the Lakers could return to championship contention.

It wasn’t exactly a prediction, but it should get Lakers fans excited for a new era.

I don’t know…we didn’t really get into that. We talked a lot about basketball not about timetables. But I least don’t see this as a long process,” said Scott. “This is still Los Angeles. This is still one of the best organizations in all of sports. Still have a lot of people that would love to play for this organization…I don’t think it will take long.

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  • jackstone

    It’s impressive how off-base most of the sports media is about the Lakers offseason. They grabbed an excellent player in the draft in Randle, got a second round steal in Clarkson, who really should have gone mid-first round, when they didn’t even start off with a second round pick, and grabbed underrated talent in their prime in both Lin and Davis, both on expiring contracts (Davis is opting out of year 2). Add the expiring contract/vet acquisition of Boozer, who plays much better as a pick and roll forward (and will be doing so frequently with Lin, who’s a pick and roll guard, and under Byron, who has successfully run pick and roll offenses under Kidd and Paul), and also the re-signing of promising young big Ryan Kelly, and the re-sign of underrated Jordan Hill.. and LA has an exciting young core, with a substantial veteran presence, 5 upside players under 25, and still will have $26-29 million in cap space next summer.

    Sheesh ! What did people expect ? LeBron ? Because he was never coming here. And nobody else this summer was worth killing the cap/rebuild. Melo ? I really hope that was just for show, as he would have ruined LA until 2018 or so. Bosh ? Not enough. They got exactly what they needed for year 1 of the rebuild. Just takes some b-ball intelligence to know it.