<
>

Scott: Lakers have to fight through fatigue in preseason

AP Photo/Marco Garcia

HONOLULU -- The Los Angeles Lakers shot an abysmal 29 percent from the floor in their 90-71 preseason-opening loss to the Utah Jazz here Sunday, and many of those misses occurred the same way.

They hit the front of the rim.

Typically, a poor shooting night with so many players clanking so many shots off the front iron is a common sign of team-wide fatigue, which seemed understandable as Lakers coach Byron Scott has focused on running his players hard throughout training camp here.

But Scott didn't think fatigue played much of a role in their shooting.

"I think a lot of it is just, we just missed a lot of wide-open shots," Scott told reporters after practice at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center on Monday.

"I don't know if it has anything to do with tired legs. I think we just missed open shots. You can always say it's tired legs. That to me is an excuse."

Scott doesn't seem too sympathetic to the idea of resting his players much, either.

"I don't necessarily care about tired legs in preseason," Scott said. "I think everything that we've done thus far will pay off at the end of the day. You've got some guys that might have tired legs and [are] a little worn out, but all the running as far as getting into that physical condition that we need to get into, I think in December and January, it will pay off.

"So I'm not necessarily worried about guys having tired legs in preseason. They'll just have to kind of fight through that fatigue part of it. And I think mentally it gets them a little stronger anyway."

Scott used a similar message after his Lakers were drubbed by the Jazz on Sunday, saying, "From what I saw, we've got to do some more running as far as getting back in transition because I thought they looked like they were in better shape than we were."

The Lakers have had several players dinged up lately, including guard D'Angelo Russell (bone bruise in his right foot), forward Larry Nance Jr. (back), guard Nick Young (back), guard Marcelo Huertas (hamstring), guard Anthony Brown (right shoulder) and guard Jabari Brown (right hand).

That streak of injuries continues a recent trend, as the Lakers have led the NBA in games missed due to injury in each of the past two seasons.