Discussing the Lakers‘ regression this season despite having a talented crop of young players, coach Byron Scott pointed to the roster’s overall NBA inexperience as a major contributing factor, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News writes. “You take away some of the veterans we had last year and plug in these young guys that haven’t played at this level, it’s a different story,” Scott said. “They’re learning and it’s hard. When we had the veteran guys, they know how to compete every single night. They’ve been in the league for a while. These young guys don’t know how to do that every night. That’s what they’re learning how to do in bringing that intensity earlier today. You have to bring that intensity level every single night. For the young guys right now, their attention to detail that they don’t have on a night-to-night basis is tough. But they’re learning. They’re getting a hard lesson this year for learning what not to do.”
Scott also admitted that he could have handled his younger players better this season, Medina notes. “With our young guys, could I probably have done a better job? Probably so,” Scott said. “I have to look at that this summer and how can I help them next year to get even better? You don’t have to give up who you are, which is not what I’m going to have to do. But you do have to adapt and understand now the communication level has to be much better. With these young guys, I’ve definitely done a better job of understanding this is a different generation.”
Here’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Suns big man Tyson Chandler intends to host workouts over the summer to help him and his teammates develop better chemistry, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. “I feel like this season got way off on the wrong foot,” Chandler said. “Even though we won some games, I didn’t like it even early. Even when we were 7-5, I didn’t like it because it’s important that you win the right way. When you’re playing at a high level, and I’ve been there, you know when you’re a good team. You can just feel it. I felt we had spurts but we were always kind of rocking. It’s important all of us are on the same page and we all truly come in with the same goal.”
- The Clippers are facing a difficult dilemma with Blake Griffin as they try to work him back into the rotation while readying themselves for the playoffs, Dan Woike of The Orange County Register notes. Griffin, who has shown signs of rust since making his return, told reporters of his struggles, “I think it’s just rhythm. Being out three months, that’s a summer. That’s almost a full offseason,. It’s like coming into the first day of camp and everyone else has been playing at their peak for a long time. I’m just a step slow, a step behind, whatever you want to call it.”
- The Kings have assigned power forward Duje Dukan to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Dukan’s seventh trip to Reno on the season.