Are the Lakers really doing what we all think they’re doing?
One question many Los Angeles Lakers fans are probably having in their minds is the same thing that head coach Byron Scott has vehemently and publicly derided all year.
It involves the Lakers and a word that starts with the letter “t” and it was once a powerful and important vehicle in military combat.
Are the Lakers doing such a thing for a proper rebuild?
It’s a question that no one in the Laker organization wants to answer, but might have in the back of their mind.
The Lakers are currently 16-45 and are the second worst team in the Western Conference. They are also the fourth worst team in the entire NBA, which means they would be in position to get the fourth pick unless something unexpected happens at the NBA Draft Lottery.
It’s difficult to say that the Lakers are “flailing on purpose” as they have shown lots of life in recent losses on the road to Miami, Charlotte, Oklahoma City and Memphis.
Before the four-straight losses, they had beat a good Milwaukee Bucks team and the Utah Jazz on the road.
LA let the Grizzlies go on a 13-3 run and it really looked sloppy. Rookie guard Jordan Clarkson, who has been on a tear as of late, had 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting, didn’t shoot in the final six minutes.
Something that stood out to me was Scott’s decision to take Clarkson out in the third quarter with six minutes to play after he had six points on 3-3 from the field.
It was clear that Clarkson was the best player on the floor last night yet he seemed a bit limited as shown with Scott’s decision to take him out and not shooting in the final stages of the game. Yes the Grizzlies were keying in on him, but it’s hard to believe that a player with his athleticism and size can get a clean attempt off, even against the likes of great defenders like Mike Conley and Tony Allen.
With Kobe Bryant out for more than a month the Lakers really have no reason to win games. If the Lakers don’t land a top five pick, it will go straight to the Philadelphia 76ers. With a healthy Bryant and young rookies like Clarkson and Julius Randle, the Lakers might be a piece or two from being a solid team next season.
Giving the pick away to Philadelphia will certainly ruin the Lakers’ chances of a quicker turnaround.
While the players might be giving full effort as many are playing for a contract, upper management is probably scratching their heads when the Lakers win games.
But in all of their minds, Lakers fans are tanking them for their efforts.