Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott has given out a fierce warning to his roster of players ahead of the upcoming NBA season.
The Lakers suffered a somewhat humiliating defeat in the latest of their pre-season games on Thursday night against the Utah Jazz, and following the defeat, Scott insisted more players than Kobe Bryant need to step up if the Lakers are to be successful this season.
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More than Kobe
The Lakers suffered a 33-point loss during the game against the Jazz with Kobe scoring 27 points in 28 minutes. But Scott wasn't about to give Kobe any praise, with the Lakers coach reserving his comments for the rest of the team, saying that the Lakers will need much more than just Kobe in the upcoming season if they are going to be successful.
"I thought his performance was good. I know he's was a little tired. But we need more than Kobe. We need other guys to jump into the fight as well," Scott told LakersNation.
Randle needs to improve
One of the players that Scott will want to turn up and play hard for the Lakers this season is Julius Randle, with the former Kentucky powerhouse forward expected to play an important role for the Lakers this season. But Scott says right now Randle is struggling to get up to speed.
"He is struggling with a little bit of everything. The game is a much faster game and he has to learn how to slow the game down. But the biggest thing for him is the effort and the physical part of the game, which means he need to play hard every single time he's out there.
"I know he's thinking a lot right now, because there's a lot of things to think about on both ends of the floor. But do you know what, it's going to take some time but I expect him to get it."
Cutting the team
The Lakers final team for the season ahead has not been sorted yet, but when it is, Lakers coach Byron Scott says he will only need seven or eight potential starting players for the challenge ahead of trying to restore the Lakers' reputation.
"I told them I'm going to find 7 or 8 games, that's all I need. To play the way we need to play to play hard every single night, that's all I need.
"Our first unit did a good job tonight, but our second unit didn't do a very good job. Everybody can say Jeremy didn't play and Nick was out, but their job is to come in and play good defense and run the show on offense, but they didn't do that."