Lakers: Anthony Brown making most of opportunity

Anthony Brown’s journey with the Lakers has been hot and cold to say the least. On Friday, he made his second start of the season and recorded five points and five rebounds against Philadelphia.

On Saturday afternoon, he was assigned back to the D-League and will be in uniform for the D-Fenders’ game against the Bakersfield Jam.

It has been that kind of journey for Brown so far but the rookie from Stanford is starting to find his groove and maximize his time on the court, no matter how limited.

“Every game for me, I feel like I’m getting more comfortable,” Brown said Saturday, “First time I was out there against [Oklahoma City], the game was moving so fast for me and now it’s starting to slow down a bit game by game.”

Aside from his starts, Brown has only played more than 20 minutes once in his nine games this season. His first start saw him thrown into the fire guarding Kevin Durant but against Philadelphia, he showed a glimpse of his shooting touch making his lone 3-point attempt.

He only attempted three shots all game but found ways to make affect the game with his defense and rebounding, something that impressed head coach Byron Scott.

“He took what the defense gave him and didn’t try to force anything. He did the exact thing, we wanted him to do, which was guard,” Scott said. “He just needs more time and he’ll get that. His experience with just being in school for four years I think absolutely helps him out.”

Scott did said that Brown could eventually find his way into getting more minutes as a full-time backup, although the timetable for that has yet to be determined. Until then, Brown,who was an standout player at Ocean View High School, is learning how to adjust and thrive when he can.

“I’m just trying to make an impact anyway I can. Shooting, defense, rebounding,” Brown said, “I just have to be ready for my shot knowing that I’m not going to get a ton of shots.”

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Byron Scott kind of figured the Warriors would lose to Bucks

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott had little to smile about. The Los Angeles Lakers played the Denver Nuggets in a regular season NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. 11/3/2015 (photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles News Group)

Byron Scott/Staff photo by John McCoy

 

Although some may have been, coach Byron Scott was not among those who might have been shocked that Golden State’s 28-game winning streak – 24 to start this season – was snapped Saturday by the Milwaukee Bucks, who entered that 108-95 victory over the Warriors with a record of 9-15.

Scott, whose team will play host to Milwaukee on Tuesday night at Staples Center, on Monday after practice listed several reasons why he expected the Bucks to win that game.

“I thought it was a great trap game,” Scott said. “They went double overtime in Boston (on Friday), which was an emotional win, probably, as well. Then they’ve gotta fly and they’re going to get in late to Milwaukee and you’ve gotta play the next night. So I thought if any team was going to beat them, it was going to be that game. And Milwaukee, obviously, came out and did a great job. But Golden State, they were probably sitting in the locker room after the game, saying, “Let’s win 28 more.’ “

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Byron Scott marvels at Kobe Bryant’s work in the 2nd leg of back-to-backs

Kobe Bryant, C.J. Miles, Paul George

Kobe Bryant/Photo by Associated Press

 

Kobe Bryant has played both ends of four back-to-backs this season. The first time he had a worse second game. But the opposite has been the case the past three times.

  • Bryant scored 20 points on 7 of 26 from the field in a Dec. 1 loss at Philadelphia in 32 minutes. The next night he scored 31 points on 10 of 24 shooting in win at Washington in 36 minutes.
  • He had five points and shot 2 of 15 in a Dec. 6 loss in 26 minutes at Detroit. He came back the next night and scored 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting in a loss at Toronto. He also had eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in 32 minutes.
  • Bryant scored 12 points on on 5 of 12 shooting with six rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes in a loss at San Antonio on Friday. He scored 25 points on 9 of 16 from the field, pulled down seven rebounds, doled out six assists and made three steals in 31 minutes in a loss Saturday at Houston.

Coach Byron Scott was asked how Bryan, who is 37 and in his 20th season, could continually be better in the second half of a back-to-back.

“I don’t know how he does it,” Scott said Monday after practice. “I know somebody asked him about it and he doesn’t know how he’s doing it. But I always kind of just chalk it up to, that’s Kobe. He comes ready to play every night and I think the second night, though, he seems to have a better rhythm. He has a couple of days off or something like that and then you had that one game on Wednesday and play again Thursday, he gets into a little bit more of a rhythm and a flow. For whatever reason, the second night seems to be better, where you would think it would be the opposite.”

 

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Lakers’ Byron Scott dismisses lottery talk, fan dissatisfaction

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott  talks with Laker Jordan Clarkson,6, and D'Angelo Russell ,1, against Portland, during the second half at the Staples Center.  Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, November,22, 2015.         (Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott talks with Laker Jordan Clarkson,6, and D’Angelo Russell ,1, against Portland, during the second half at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, November,22, 2015.
(Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Lakers have not even completed a month of the 2015-16 season, but both an uncomfortable and familiar question has already emerged.

With the Lakers (2-12) entering Saturday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers (6-10) at Moda Center with the NBA’s second-worst record, how much effort will the franchise put in retaining its top-3 protected draft pick?

“I don’t think about that whatsoever,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said following Saturday’s morning shootaround. “I probably won’t until April. That’s something I can’t control and that’s at the end of the season.”

The Lakers are in a precarious position. They appear likely bad enough to lose a lot of games. But will they be bad enough to land in the top three? Otherwise, the Lakers owe Philadelphia their first-round pick as part of the Steve Nash trade. The Lakers finished last season with the NBA’s fourth-worst record, but moved up two slots for the No. 2 pick. The Lakers eventually chose point guard D’Angelo Russell with that pick.

“It’s impossible to think about the team, try to get our young guys better, the team better and also thinking about a pick,” Scott said. “That’s six months away and you might not even get it. I don’t concern myself with things that aren’t in my control.”

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Lakers’ Byron Scott: “We don’t trust each other on the floor”

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott against Portland, during the second half at the Staples Center.  Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, November,22, 2015.         (Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott against Portland, during the second half at the Staples Center. Los Angeles Calif., Sunday, November,22, 2015.
(Photo by Stephen Carr / Daily Breeze)

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.”
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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant preaches importance of ball movement, developing young players

The concept caused Kobe Bryant to laugh loudly. The Lakers’ star went on a monologue stressing the importance of ball movement and developing the team’s young players. Then the irony hit him.

Isn’t Bryant the same player who cemented a reputation as a high-volume shooter with little regard for team play?

“Can you believe I’m saying this [stuff]? Are you kidding? I’m a kid that grows up and suddenly sounds like his parents,” Bryant said with a loud chuckle following the Lakers’ 102-91 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday at Staples Center. “I never thought I’d see the day where I become the voice of ball movement-reason. I never thought I’d see the day where I’m preaching that stuff. That’s crazy.”
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Lakers’ Byron Scott scales back playoff talk

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott and Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell #1 have a discussion in the first half .The Los Angeles Lakers played the Denver Nuggets in a regular season NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. 11/3/2015 (photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles News Group)

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott and Los Angeles Lakers guard D’Angelo Russell #1 have a discussion in the first half .The Los Angeles Lakers played the Denver Nuggets in a regular season NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. 11/3/2015 (photo by John McCoy/Los Angeles News Group)

The proud Lakers’ coach inherited his job a season after the franchise completed their worst finish since moving to Los Angeles over five decades ago. Yet, Byron Scott still talked about NBA championship aspirations. His first season ended with the Lakers’ worst record in the franchise’s 67-year-old history. Yet, Scott still talked during training camp about trying to make the NBA playoffs.

But with the Lakers (2-9) entering Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors (7-6) at Staples Center as the Western Conference’s second-worst team, Scott declined to predict the Lakers could make the playoffs.

“This team doesn’t have Magic [Johnson],” Scott said. “We have James [Worthy], but not in uniform. Cap isn’t here. I wont do that, no.”

It seems understandable now about Scott’s skepticism. But a reporter brought that up amid a conversation surrounding the undefeated Golden State Warriors (13-0) and Scott’s memories of the “Showtime Lakers.”

Scott called the Warriors “by far, right now, they’re the best team in the league” after winning the 2015 NBA championship. He did not sound surprised the Warriors overcame a 23-point deficit on Thursday to defeat the Clippers. Scott argued the Warriors “don’t have that championship hangover.”

Scott then reflected on how the Lakers’ 1988 NBA championship team showed the same hunger after former Lakers coach Pat Riley infamously predicted the team would repeat in a speech at the 1987 NBA championship parade.

“When he said, guarantee, I knew vacation is over,” said Scott, who began training in early July as opposed to August. “We really have to come ready next year. We came back that year even more focused to do something that hadn’t been done in 20 years at that time.”
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Lakers: Byron Scott says team was “fatigued” in loss to Sacramento

After watching the tape of last night’s 132-114 loss to Sacramento, Lakers head coach Byron Scott found an unusual culprit aiding his team’s defensive struggles. Fatigue.

It’s a bit unusual to hear that two games into the regular season and something Scott said he hadn’t noticed in years past coaching.

But upon review and talking with the team, tired legs may have been a factor in the team falling behind by as many 31 last night.

“What I did see was guys making the effort but they just looked fatigued,” Scott said.

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Lakers’ Byron Scott saw Robert Upshaw playing “okay” in preseason loss to Toronto

Los Angeles Lakers vs Toronto Raptors on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Ca. (Micah Escamilla/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

Los Angeles Lakers vs Toronto Raptors on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Ca. (Micah Escamilla/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

ONTARIO — He spoke in an excited tone, Robert Upshaw experiencing the initial wave of euphoria surrounding his first NBA exhibition appearance. The Lakers’ reserve center just posted six points on three-of-four shooting, three rebounds, two blocks, one assist and one turnover in 25 minutes in the team’s 105-97 preseason loss to the Toronto Raptors on Thursday at Citizens Business Bank Arena. That left Upshaw appearing on cloud nine as he sat by his locker.

“It was really good,” Upshaw said. “I finally got to get my feet wet, go out there and play some good basketball and just keep up the energy.”

Outside of the locker room, Lakers coach Byron Scott spoke in a more solemn tone about Upshaw’s performance.

“He was okay,” Scott said. “He made a ton of mistakes on both ends of the floor. That’s probably to be expected in his first game.”
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Lakers’ Julius Randle unfazed during fall in preseason loss to Utah

HONOLULU — Nothing stood in Julius Randle’s way as he leaped toward the basket.

The Lakers’ forward had an open lane to throw down a thunderous dunk after D’Angelo Russell threw a no-look bounce pass. Randle felt fully comfortable bulldozing his way inside with his brute strength. And he no longer looked limited with a surgically repaired right leg that left him sidelined for nearly his entire rookie season.

But then Utah forward Trevor Booker fouled Randle from behind, sending the Lakers’ forward crashing down on the same leg that he injured nearly 11 months ago. Hence, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant could not leap out his seat fast enough to attend to Randle.

“You damn right I did,” Bryant said following the Lakers’ 90-71 preseason loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday at Stan Sheriff Center. “If I was fast enough to catch him, I would.”

The incident may have left the Lakers skittish. But it left Randle amused as he recalled thinking “nothing” as he took a fall that sparked gasps among the nearly partisan 10,300 watching in person and the countless purple and gold faithful observing around the world.

“I was fine,” Randle said. “I didn’t think I hurt myself or anything. I came down on my right leg, didn’t I? I think I came down on my right leg. I was more worried about getting back up.”

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