The Los Angeles Lakers hosted the best team in the Eastern Conference Sunday night, but many of the Atlanta Hawks’ star players were sitting out for rest. Several coaches have been opting to bench their starters during the season, and this practice is becoming more frequent as the playoffs approach.
With the Lakers on the schedule, Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer thought it would be smart to sit out Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap. Although the Lakers did challenge the Hawks in this game, they were unable to steal the victory.
After the game, Lakers rookie Jordan Clarkson spoke to the media and he expressed frustration with Atlanta not playing its stars, via Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina:
.@MarkG_Medina asked Jordan Clarkson if he took much offense to Atlanta sitting a bunch of their guys: “Of course”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) March 16, 2015
The Lakers made a late push in the final minutes, but the run came too late in the game and the team eventually fell 91-86. Atlanta still had Al Horford in the game, so the coaching did have a reliable option down the stretch. Nevertheless, Los Angeles could not execute well on the final possessions and sent the Staples Center crowd away in disappointment.
The road doesn’t get easier for the 17-48 Lakers as they will be traveling to play the Golden State Warriors. Steve Kerr has not been shy of resting his players, so it will interesting to see if he does it again with the struggling Lakers coming into town.[divide]
Lakers Nation Interview: Jabari Brown After Signing With Lakers