Byron Scott came into the season vowing that the Los Angeles Lakers would have an intense training camp. He said that the Lakers would be focusing on defense and conditioning, and he has stuck by his word.
Kobe Bryant called it the toughest training camp he has ever experienced, and Lakers players were running sprints to end practices almost every day. However, there may have been an unforeseen issue from all of this conditioning work.
The Lakers have lost three consecutive preseason games, all by double digits. After the second loss to the Golden State Warriors, Kobe mentioned that they didn’t seem to have their legs and noted how hard they have been practicing.
Additionally, the Lakers have already lost a number of players to injuries. Granted most of them are minor as numerous players are expected back within the next week. However, after dealing with so many injuries over the last two seasons, these are not things the fans want to see.
With the team suffering on the injury front and players losing their legs during games, we asked our panel of experts if Byron Scott was hurting the team by practicing too hard during training camp? This is what they had to say:
Corey Hansford (@TheeCoreyH): I really love Byron Scott’s commitment to defense and conditioning and do believe it will pay off in the long run for this team.
Though there have been injuries early, most of them have been fluke accidents that have very little to do with Scott’s practice methods. I also believe that Scott is wise enough to scale back during the season to preserve the legs of his team. If there is one place I believe Scott’s practice methods have hurt the Lakers, I feel it is on the offensive end.
While it is admittedly early in the season, the Lakers have struggled just as much on that end as they have on defense. The team is shooting very few three-pointers, but even worse is that they are getting very few shots at the basket as well.
Focusing on defense and conditioning was a great idea in theory, but Scott may have put the team behind the proverbial eight ball on offense because of it. And that is hurting the team as much as anything else right now.
Nathan Kim (@Kimchiz): It’s still too early to make any sort of decisive statement against Byron Scott and his job as head coach of the Lakers. The regular season hasn’t even started.
Granted, the Lakers have played 3 preseason games and have lost by a combined 56 points to the Golden State Warriors. The Lakers clearly looked uncoordinated on both ends of the floor. If anything, I would even go so far as saying that the Lakers need more practice.
The concern about injuries is a fair one considering the amount of injuries that the Lakers sustained last season. However, I do think that Scott is aware of the limitations of his team. We know that he is
at least considerate of Kobe and Nash, especially with the advent of Nash’s most recent injury.
Scott was hired because of his roots as a Laker, as well as his ability to coach. The team is still young and lacking in experience. Furthermore, the team consists of many new players who weren’t on the
roster last season. With that being said, it will take some time for the team to communicate better, namely on defense.
If the team has playoff aspirations they will have to buy into the kind of basketball that Scott would have them play. I think that Scott has every right to coach the team as he sees best and if that involves practicing a certain way, than so be it.
Russell Valenzuela (@RussVal4): It would be easy to look at the Lakers’ performances against the Warriors and say the Lakers have been overworked thus far in the preseason. In their first matchup, the Lakers looked tired as their defensive effort disappeared and were ran out of their own building. The team responded days later by not showing up again and got blown out by 41.
Many players have come out and said that Byron Scott’s training camp has been the hardest one they have been part of in the careers. Scott’s goal is to have a better conditioned team, but it seems the results have gone otherwise.
There’s nothing wrong with the intense practices despite the results. The sessions aren’t going according to plan right now, but that’s not to say that it won’t. It’s going to take a while to build the endurance Scott wants out of the Lakers.
It’s fine to go hard to begin, but now is when adjustments need to made for the longer haul of the regular season. Games in the preseason are spaced out more, and there is no way the Lakers are going to survive an 82 game schedule at this rate.
Scott did say he was going to start dialing back acknowledging the team might be overworked. With the season less than two weeks away, it looks like he is already thinking ahead.
Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): One of the positives I saw heading into training camp was the presence of new head coach Byron Scott and his determination to turn this team around with an emphasis on the defensive side of the basketball floor. Scott made it abundantly clear the Lakers would be much improved defensively while also kicking into high gear with conditioning during practice.
Unfortunately, the injuries are starting to pile up for the Lakers making many wonder if Scott’s intense practices are at the route of the problem. Personally, I believe it is just a case of bad luck.
The Lakers are coming off a season riddled with injuries therefore putting the focus on these injuries rather than the lack of talent backing up players like Nick Young, Steve Nash and Jeremy Lin. Plus, there’s a lot of new faces on this team and a new system to run with Scott running the show.
Scott’s practices aren’t to blame. Injuries happen. It is simply part of the game and the Lakers have suffered that unfortunate part of the game quite often as of late.[divide]
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