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Byron Scott.

Byron Scott: The lowest points of a rough 2015-16 campaign

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With the season well and truly over for the L.A. Lakers, the powers that be have been making decisions that - in their minds - benefit the organisation as they prepare for their first campaign without Kobe Bryant in over 20 years.

One of those calls has been to remove the Black Mamba's former teammate Byron Scott as head coach after two hugely unsuccessful seasons at the Staples Center. 

The 55-year-old amassed a record of 38-126 during his two full campaigns in the City of Angels as the Lakers finished bottom of the Pacific Division and missed the playoffs on both occasions. 

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His tenure goes down as the worst in Lakers history for a coach that has spent at least 24 months in the role, and with a new dawn arriving on the west coast, it was time for a change in leadership.

While his first season in charge was a horror show, the 2015-16 campaign proved to be nothing short of a disaster as the Lakers propped up the Western Conference with a better roster at Scott's disposal than the previous year. 

Young, exciting talent such as D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle were supposed to compliment the experience and skill of Bryant. However, it never came to fruition as the purple and gold mustered just 17 wins.

Los Angeles Lakers v Cleveland Cavaliers

There was talk that the organisation could persist with Scott for another season, but the signs have been there for some time that he was living a charmed life. 

DEFENCE

Throughout the campaign, the Lakers' defence was a shambles. While their points tally had been the lowest in the league, productivity facing their own basket was enough to give every fan nightmares. 

They gave away the fourth most points per game out of any team in the league (106.9), while causing very few mistakes with disruptive play as they ended the year with the third lowest number of opponent's turnovers (1037). 

BKN-CLIPPERS-LAKERS

They also ranked in the bottom ten for blocks (337), steals (593), rebounds (3523) and opponent field goal percentage (47.3%). Scott's team gave up more assists than any other franchise (2022) and were the fourth worst in opponent rebounds (3812). 

BLOWOUTS

Bad offence coupled with atrocious defence is a recipe for disaster in any sport. As we all know, the Lakers suffered a number of defeats, but some of them were more crushing than others. 

Before the days of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder used to suffer some big losses to the Lakers - so did many franchises. How times have changed. 

The Los Angeles-based organisation fell by an incredible 40 and 35 points in December and 33 in Bryant's last road game as the Thunder took the series 4-0. 

The joint franchise-worst loss to the Jazz was the icing on an awful cake that was the 2015-16 season.

STREAK

Losing became second nature for the purple and gold, but dropping ten consecutive games is hard for any organisation to take. 

Starting with a loss to defending champions Golden State, they embarked on a ten-game losing streak where all but one game was a blowout. 

Barring the two-point reverse to the Dallas Mavericks, the margin of defeat was in double-figures on ever occasion as the Lakers rolled over and died far too many times. 

D'ANGELO RUSSELL

The number two pick. There was a lot of expectation on the shoulders of the young point guard. 

There were times throughout the campaign where Scott questioned the maturity of the youngster and, on occasions, he may have been right. 

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers

However, in a campaign where the second most successful organisation in NBA history were looking for any flicker of life, Scott decided to bench Russell. 

The 20-year-old is a player of immense talent. He showed that after the All-Star break when he was re-introduced to the starting five. But there was an extended period from December to February where he was on the bench.

With his minutes limited, his productivity fell and he was often benched for the clutch moments. Hardly the way for a lottery pick to gain experience. 

PROBLEMS

The Lakers are a franchise without direction and all the blame cannot be pinned at the feet of their now former coach, however, he failed to establish any sense of purpose in his two years. 

The franchise need a personality who can take the bull by the horns and lead them out of the doldrums. Unfortunately for Scott, he is not that man.

Topics:
NBA
Julius Randle
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Kobe Bryant

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