Evaluating Byron Scott’s Performance as Lakers Head Coach

Any way you slice it, Byron Scott gets a proverbial hall pass as first-year head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The intense pressure to “win now” that accompanied Mike Brown and Mike D’Antoni out the back door of Staples Center just doesn’t exist this season. Scott inherited a Lakers team with mild expectations and, after rookie Julius Randle and veteran Steve Nash both were lost for the season to injuries, the bar was further lowered.

Closing in on the halfway mark of the NBA season, the Lakers find themselves looking up at 26 other teams and barely treading water. Their 12-25 record is fourth-worst record in the league and keeps them on pace to keep their potential lottery draft pick in June.

Scott didn’t so much coach the Lakers the first third of the season as allow Kobe Bryant to play as many minutes as possible with the hope that the Mamba might shoot L.A. toward a playoff spot.

At least that was the public face Scott wore until recently when he finally gave in to the fact that the 19-year veteran was just plain worn out.

Per Eric Pincus, Los Angeles Times, Scott this past week sounded a more realistic tone for the team and its future:

"Our plan, when you talk about the organization, is to win the championship, that's the bottom line. I don't know what the time frame is right now. Jeanie and Jim (Buss), obviously that's between them."

Asked (by Pincus) how long fans should wait and will the Lakers get closer to that goal next season, Scott said: "I'll let you know in September. That's when training camp will start next year. We'll have our free agents, our draft picks. I'll get a pretty good idea of what we have at that particular time and let you know."

Thanks, Byron. That was refreshing to hear.

A team doesn’t have to throw in the towel, but it should take an honest look at the season. Scott would only discuss pl...

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