Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott has come under a lot of scrutiny for his handling of the rotations of the team, especially down the stretch.
Many have been unhappy that second overall pick D’Angelo Russell has been benched for the entire fourth quarter on a number of occasions.
Scott has explained his reasons for not throwing Russell out on the floor in clutch situations, and now he has revealed that he prefers to go with the five playing the best to close out the game according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:
Byron Scott said he'll typically go with the 5 players who are doing the best that game over final 7 minutes
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) November 19, 2015
Scott wanting to ride the hot hand makes sense in some ways as those who are playing well should be rewarded with more minutes. Each player has good games, and bad games and Scott wants to take advantage of those times where guys are unexpectedly hot.
It is also important to look at complete lineups and not just individual players. Sometimes, there is a group that is playing extremely well together and replacing one of those players who maybe doesn’t have the best stats that night could change the effectiveness of a lineup that was otherwise doing well.
To this point, the Lakers have struggled in the fourth quarter and probably would have a couple more wins if they could close out games. There isn’t an exact formula to fix that issue, but Scott will need to figure something out soon.