Byron Scott wants Lakers to be ‘very serious’ during home stretch

first_imgEL SEGUNDO >> Byron Scott is an NBA coach, not a babysitter. While the Lakers coach is aware that even at the highest levels of sports, coaching can sometimes require a fair amount of babysitting, Scott isn’t about to go that route as the Lakers end the season playing 16 of their final 23 games at home, including nine straight in March. Sure, there’s plenty of benefits to being able to unpack the suitcase, but for some of the younger players, being at home for such a long stretch can be challenging.“Anytime you’re at home, you can get into a rhythm or a routine, but it depends on whether or not it’s going to be a good rhythm and routine or a bad rhythm and routine,” Scott said Thursday following practice at the Toyota Sports Center. “The one thing about being at home is that you’ve got more distractions than you do on the road, so you’ve got to be able to balance the two.” Scott said the objective with this schedule is the same objective that he’s had all season: He wants the team to get better. More practice time and games in the friendly confines of Staples Center will allow for that, but only if players work for it. “We’ve got to improve, especially on the defensive end, we’ve got to improve on that end of the floor,” Scott said. “But I want them to take this very serious about coming to work, getting ready and being prepared instead of being home and thinking, ‘Let’s have some fun.’ You have fun when you’re out there competing. It’s the approach we have to take, and hopefully we take the right approach.” Despite only 11 wins and a last-place standing in the Western Conference, Scott says the Lakers are still trying to win now while keeping an eye toward the future. “Just because the season is winding down doesn’t mean that you just stop working and trying to get better,” Scott said. “That’s our whole objective and that’s what we’re going to do this whole month of March.”It’s those same reasons that Scott isn’t shutting down guard Larry Nance Jr. While there was talk of shutting down Nance because of lingering knee soreness and concern stemming from the ACL surgery he had in college, Scott is only limiting his minutes until he sees that he’s “110 percent.” Scott says there’s valuable lessons to be gained from playing through the home stretch.“It’s experience,” Scott said. “Experience and learning to play with his teammates. Unless (Lakers trainer) Gary Vitti tells me he’s to the point where he can’t play or we shouldn’t play him, and he says he’s ready to play then we’ll play him.”The road schedule has been brutal, to say the least. In a season of rebuilding the grind of a harsh road schedule can wear on some. But the Lakers know it’s not time to pack it in yet. The end is near, and it looks a lot like the Staples Center. “I feel like the fans want to see a show so it’s a good opportunity to put on a show for these guys,” Russell said. “It’s just home. You know home games, the atmosphere is finally good from a home crowd. We’ve got the home crowd on our side. It plays a bigger factor in winning or losing the game when you’ve got the home crowd. You can’t hear some play calls when you can’t hear so it’s cool.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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