During his two-year stint as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Byron Scott led the team to two of the worst seasons in franchise history. Although Scott can’t take full blame for the team’s problems the last two years, he certainly didn’t have many fans toward the end of his time in Los Angeles.
Recently, Scott made an appearance on AM 570 LA Sports and talked about his former team. Scott believes the squad’s defensive issues haven’t changed:
“They got better personnel, no doubt about that, but the problems are still the same, as far as trying to get them to play defense on a consistent night […] That problem hasn’t changed. Until you get different personnel in there that thinks that way, along those lines, that thinks defense wins championships, then it’s going to continue to be a problem.”
With the Lakers being one of the worst defensive teams in the league up to this point in the 2016-17 NBA season, it is hard to argue with Scott’s assessment. There’s no question first-year head coach Luke Walton has helped this team turn the corner a bit with his system and style of coaching, but the defense is still a major problem and may continue to be for the rest of the season.
The recent franchise-worst 49-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks was a perfect indication as to where this team is defensively.
The real question moving forward is whether the Lakers brass attempt to make a move before the NBA trade deadline in order to address their defensive issues. Walton and company are already willing to shake up the starting lineup, in the same way Scott did last year, but it’ll be interesting to see if the team takes it a step further by parting ways with a few players before Feb. 23.