That was fast!
Seemingly within minutes of taking the Los Angeles Lakers bench, head coach Byron Scott is already drawing sharp criticism from the media ahead of Saturday night's match with the Golden State Warriors.
While much of the NBA has been swept up in a wave of new-age thinking, nerd-love and corner threes, Scott is taking a very different approach. His sole focus in coaching is to see the Lakers relentlessly attack the basket--a big departure from former head coach Mike D'Antoni's seven-seconds-or-less attack.
That in itself isn't so bad, though it may be unrealistic, given the Lakers' lack of creators on offense. But why are analysts like NBA.com's John Schuhmann doing this on twitter?
95/8 mid-range/3PA ratio over the last 2 games. Not a single corner 3. Just amazing. pic.twitter.com/D7xD6ttS3R— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) October 17, 2014
Because the Scott-era results have been a catastrophe through preseason and an 0-3 start to the regular season.
The Lakers' preseason eFG% of .462 would've been the worst of any NBA team since the ghastly 2011-2012 Charlotte Bobcats. And their eFG% mark through the first two games of the regular season (.415 !!!) doesn't inspire much confidence.
To make matters worse, Scott seems to prefer this brand of basketball. Earlier this month, Scott was quoted as saying that 10 to 15 three-point attempts per game would be "a good mixture of getting to that basket and shooting threes." The problem is that would represent an incredibly low attempt rate already.
The Lakers shot a blistering .381 percent from deep last season (third in the NBA!), but also lost their three best three-point shooters already (Jodie Meeks, Jordan Farmar and Steve Nash), so Byron Scott has some cause to be skeptical of the three point shot. But for a roster including quality shooters in Kobe, Nick Young and Jeremy Lin, going back to the stone age doesn't have to be the answer.
Last season, exactly one team averaged less than 15 three-point attempts per game--the Memphis Grizzlies at 14.1. Ahead of them is basically a who's who of ‘NBA offenses you don't want to emulate.' See for yourself:
Grizzlies 14.1 attempts per game (30th)
That should look alarming to Lakers fans. And of those also-rans, only three made the playoffs, and two of those playoff teams (the Pacers and the Bulls) finished first and second in the NBA in eFG% defense (just ahead of our own Warriors). Long story short, this brand of offense is not a sustainable recipe for success. It's a flaw that only elite defensive teams are barely able to overcome.
As if that's not enough bad news for Tinseltown, 2014 lottery pick Julius Randle suffered a season-ending broken leg during the Lakers' latest loss to the Rockets. Just ouch.
Since we all know that the point of the game is to outscore your opponent, we can assume that this won't end well for the Lakers, at least this season. As the Lakers travel up the I-5 to take on an elite rim protecting unit in Golden State, we expect that things won't start or continue well for the Lake Show, either.
*All stats from basketball-reference.com unless otherwise noted