The Los Angeles Lakers ended their losing streak but that’s just a one-time thing. Soon, more losses will follow, with Kobe Bryant returning to normal form, Byron Scott doing terribly on the sidelines and young players like D’Angelo Russell not exactly knowing what’s going on.
One thing is clear: The Lakers have no intent of firing Scott, who has been nicknamed the Tank Commander for his commendable work of not letting the Lakers win too much. But there’s one thing losing games while the players this franchise should be based on in the future improve, and it’s another thing looking completely clueless while doing his work, not exactly showing any kind of pattern or knowledge in how to help these young players develop.
Bryant scoring 38 points and leading the Lakers to a 119-115 win over the Timberwolves has nothing to do with Scott. It was one of those rare days in which his 3-point shot stabilized (7-of-11) while both Lou Williams and D’Angelo Russell (38 points between them) got hot early on. As Ricky Rubio said after the game, the Timberwolves lost it in the first two quarters, going down to half time behind by 14 points, starting an insufficient comeback a bit too late.
The Lakers stopped a 10-game losing streak, and are now at 10 wins. This is the worst season in franchise history, after last year seemed to be rock bottom. But if Lakers fans were frustrated with last season, this season someone is blinding them with the Bryant retirement tour. It’s way to hide the fact that the Lakers are betting it all on a draft pick (have to finish in the top 3 of the lottery in order not to lose it) and hoping Kevin Durant signs for them. That’s their future, that’s the plan.
And when that’s the vision: Being free of the Bryant regime and hoping to convince Durant, who has at least six or seven better options in terms of chances for a championship while the money is the same everywhere else, to sign with a team that has missed out on almost every big name they’ve tried to sign in recent years, with Bryant (although players don’t like to admit it) being a big reason why they didn’t sign. However, without a head coach that players want to play for and with a very confused and disjointed roster of players to go along, it’s hard to see the Lakers as a very attractive landing spot in a few months for free agents of even the second tier.