<
>

Byron Scott staring down a tough task

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Two days after what he felt was an embarrassing home loss to the struggling New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott expounded on his blunt criticisms of his team.

“I say how I feel after games like that,” Scott said at Saturday’s practice. “I let them know. I wasn’t happy with that game. I thought we came in with a lack of respect for a team that had beaten us in New York. We can’t afford to look at teams’ records and think, ‘OK, their record is worse than us, so we’re a better team than they are.’”

Scott used the terms “selfish” and “not very bright,” among other criticisms, to describe his team’s play during their 101-94 loss to the Knicks on Thursday.

After the game, Scott said his team was dejected and avoided making eye contact with him because they knew he was livid.

“I don’t think most of them want to look at me after the games we lose like that,” Scott said. “Most of them have their heads down. I don’t think they want to make eye-to-eye contact with me most of the time because I just say what’s on my mind.”

Despite his palpable frustration, Scott downplayed the duration of his disappointment, saying he was able to quickly get over the loss the next day.

“I was able to cool down,” Scott said. “After the game, I’m always hurt when we lose. I go home and I carry it home with me for a little while. But when I wake up the next day I have to put everything in the right perspective as well, and I have to go to the tape and see the good things that we did and not focus so much on the negative things.”

Once he identifies the positive takeaways from a loss, Scott said his task is to present it to his team and improve upon it for the next game. There is no time to dwell on a loss, even one as bad as Thursday’s, especially with the league’s two best teams -- the Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors -- up next on the schedule.

Scott’s primary grievance with his team is the fact that, despite their 17-47 record (fourth-worst in the league), they still overlook inferior opponents and drop winnable games.

“We have to go in with a different attitude than that,” Scott said. “Hopefully we learn from that because the next two games that definitely is not the case -- these two teams are the two best teams in the league -- so we have to get ourselves ready to play.”