The Lakers rank 29th out of 30 NBA teams in offensive efficiency and 28th in defensive efficiency. Other than that, everything has gone well for the Lakers.
“We don’t have chemistry problems. Our guys get along,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said after practice Friday at the team’s facility in El Segundo. “We just don’t trust each other on the floor.”
Scott then mentioned how the team has several ball-dominant players, including Bryant, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Lou Williams and Nick Young.
“Guys sometimes want the ball in their hands and they don’t trust making passes to other guys. We have to get to the point where the ball doesn’t stick and we find open guys,” Scott said. “When you have young guys that are so used to having the ball, getting rid of it is sometimes an issue. That’s what we’re trying to break.”
Scott may address that issue by making lineup changes and adjusting minutes for players other than Bryant. But Scott said it “might take me another week or two” before he makes those tweaks.
“I want to get a few more games,” Scott said. “With these guys, I want them to try to understand what this is all about and I understand they have to figure it out at times. I have to help them with that as much as possible. Going back to reflecting, I’ve always been pretty patient. I’m going to stay that way because I know these young guys need that.”
Scott declined to share specifics, repeatedly saying, “I’m just thinking.” But that thinking marked a stark contrast to what he expressed only three days ago. Then, Scott threatened that he would make immediate lineup changes if he did not like the team’s effort.
But Scott seemed more recharged on Friday after taking what he called “a good break,” during Thanksgiving on Thursday.
“Continue to show them film, continue to work on it in practice and continue to harp on it as a coach,” Scott said. “My whole staff continues to harp on it to keep our spacing. The other issue with trust is guys start to gravitate toward the ball. They want it in their hands. We have to trust the spacing and trust what we’re doing offensively and once we make certain adjustments the ball has to find the open guy.”