SAN FRANCISCO -- The 2-11 Los Angeles Lakers face an incredibly tall task in trying to slow down, much less stop, the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night -- especially with the Warriors looking to improve to 16-0, setting an NBA record for the best start to a season.
But Lakers coach Byron Scott believes the "Showtime" Lakers of the 1980s could beat these Warriors. Of course, Scott played for the Lakers during that era, winning three NBA titles, so perhaps he’s a bit biased.
Even still, he said that in a seven-game series, the "Showtime" Lakers would "absolutely" win.
"It would be interesting," Scott admitted after the team’s morning shoot-around at a local club here in advance of the game in Oakland.
"The one thing I think this [Golden State Warriors] team couldn’t do on a daily basis against us that they’re doing against everybody else is go small. You have Magic [Johnson] and James [Worthy] and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] as post-up players that demand a double-team. It would be a whole lot harder [for the Warriors]. [Warriors forward] Draymond [Green] is a great defender and I have a lot of respect for him, but guarding James Worthy? Or guarding Kareem? That wouldn’t happen. It would be interesting. It would be very interesting."
How would the modern-day Lakers fare in a seven-game series against the Warriors?
"I think they would probably win that series right now," Scott said with a smile. "Let’s just say that."
With regards to the matchup, Lakers star Kobe Bryant said this week that he’s seen "stranger things happen."
"He’s right," Scott said. "Stranger things have happened."
Scott was a guard with the Pacers then, and he watched fellow Pacer Reggie Miller score eight points in 8.9 seconds to help the Pacers pull off a historic comeback and win 107-105 at Madison Square Garden after trailing by 6 with 18.7 seconds left.
"So things can happen," Scott said. "All the stars have to be aligned correctly as well. Obviously, we’ve got to play our best game of the season against the best team in the league. It’s obviously not a very easy task."
Scott also said of the Warriors, "It’s easy say [stop them]. I think there are 15 other teams that have tried it, too, and it hasn’t worked. We can go back to the NBA Finals, where they won the last three games as well. Right now, they’re just playing at an unbelievable level and I think their confidence is probably at an all-time high. Everybody says the same thing -- you’ve got to take away their threes and layups and make them a mid-range type shooting team. That’s easy to say."
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott said he has not considered reducing Kobe Bryant's minutes or role even though Bryant's struggles have continually worsened, hitting rock bottom Tuesday, when, in a 111-77 loss to the Golden State Warriors, Bryant tied the worst shooting performance of his career in any game in which he attempted at least five shots.
Against the Warriors, Bryant shot 1-of-14 from the field and scored four points. Bryant also shot 1-of-14 in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs last season.
On the season, Bryant is shooting a career-worst 31.1 percent from the field, and he is 2-for-21 from 3-point range in his past four games.
"I haven't thought about reducing his role," Scott said Wednesday at the team's practice facility. "I think his role is pretty defined for us right now. So is his minutes."
Bryant, 37, is struggling mightily in his 20th NBA season, during which he's averaging more shots (a team-high 16.4 field goal attempts per game) than points (15.2). Bryant is second on the team in minutes (30.5) to Jordan Clarkson (30.8).
Scott said he doesn't believe minutes are taking a toll on Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury.
"Maybe it is, but my opinion, watching him, I don't think so," Scott said.
Scott also said he's not counseling Bryant.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- A thin line separates confidence and delusion, and Kobe Bryant is straddling it. It's the only conclusion one could reach after judging the Los Angeles Lakers star's comments Tuesday after he tied the worst shooting performance of his career in any game in which he attempted at least five shots.
In a humiliating 111-77 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena, Bryant shot 1-of-14 from the field, including 1-of-7 from 3-point range, and scored four points. He also shot 1-of-14 in a loss last season to the San Antonio Spurs.
Bryant is the first player this season with four or fewer points on 14 or more field goal attempts.
Many of his shots hit the front of the rim. Some 3-point attempts were air-balls. He blew one layup that should have been a dunk -- and probably would have been years ago, before all his injuries. And one shot, perhaps the cruelest of all, became lodged where the rim and backboard meet. An opposing player had to help pry it loose.
The performance was his worst so far this season, yet, frankly, it wasn't too dissimilar from those that preceded it. In his 20th NBA season, the 37-year-old Bryant has looked his age. His body has performed as if it's carrying a ton of NBA mileage and has endured three consecutive season-ending injuries, which it has.
But once again, Bryant said he's fine, that his health is fine, that his shot is fine, and he diverted the conversation elsewhere, largely to his teammates and the team's overall scheme.
"I'm not really worried about it, honestly," Bryant said. "My shooting will be better. I could've scored 80 [Tuesday]. It wouldn't have made a damn difference. We just have bigger problems. I could be out there averaging 35 points a game. We'd be what, 3-11? We've got to figure out how to play systematically in a position that's going to keep us in ball games."
Read the above quote again, or a few times, if necessary. Specifically, re-read the part about scoring 80 points in a game or averaging 35.
Those comments were made by a player who is averaging more field goal attempts per game (a team-high 16.4) than points (15.2); a player who is shooting a career-worst 31.1 percent from the floor; a player who has now had 12 consecutive games scoring fewer than 25 points while shooting worse than 50 percent, the longest such streak of his career.
(For those interested, ESPN.com's Tom Haberstroh did the math
OAKLAND, Calif. -- In Tuesday's 111-77 loss to the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant tied the worst shooting performance of his career in any game in which he attempted at least five shots.
Bryant shot 1-of-14 from the field, including 1-of-7 from 3-point range. He scored four points in nearly 25 minutes.
Bryant also shot 1-of-14 from the field last November in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Following Tuesday's loss, the 37-year-old Bryant, who is in his 20th NBA season, said he was fine.
"I'm not really worried about it, honestly," Bryant said. "My shooting will be better. I could've scored 80 tonight. It wouldn't have made a damn difference. We just have bigger problems. I could be out there averaging 35 points a game. We'd be what, 3-11? We've got to figure out how to play systematically in a position that's going to keep us in ballgames."
Bryant is averaging 15.2 points on a team-high 16.4 field goal attempts per game this season. His 31.1 field goal percentage is the lowest figure of his career. Bryant has now played 12 consecutive games scoring fewer than 25 points while shooting worse than 50 percent, the longest such streak of his career.
"In all honesty, it was tough, the shots that I take, pullup shots and jumpers and contested jumpers -- those are tough shots to hit at 27," Bryant said. "It's very tough to hit at 37. I've got to do a better job of demanding some help off the ball, get some easier chances -- pin-downs, picks, catch-and-shoots, things of that nature. Tonight was just very frustrating. It kind of got the better of me."
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The defending champion Golden State Warriors set the record for best start in NBA history at 16-0, as Stephen Curry had 24 points and nine assists in a 111-77 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.
With their coach sidelined, the Warriors surpassed the 15-0 starts by the Washington Capitols of 1948-49 and 1993-94 Houston Rockets.
Confetti streamed down when the final buzzer sounded and Golden State's players barely celebrated.
Kobe Bryant shot 1 of 14 for just four points in one of the worst shooting performances of his career. The Lakers dropped to 2-12 with the second-worst record in the NBA.
LOS ANGELES -- All that stands between the Golden State Warriors and the NBA record for most wins to start the season (16-0) is the 2-11 Los Angeles Lakers, with the two teams meeting Tuesday in Oakland. Not surprisingly, Lakers star Kobe Bryant is confident.
"I've seen stranger things happen," Bryant said Sunday after his team's 107-93 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center here. "We've been playing like s---. We might go up there and we might play like gangbusters up there. You never know. "
Lakers coach Byron Scott was asked for his thought on the matchup. He laughed.
"That's my thought right now," Scott said. "They're the best team I've seen in the league and it's not close ... . They're the best team I've seen in a while."
With the Warriors chasing history, Scott said he expects the Warriors to be ready.
"They haven't had a whole lot of lulls in any of the games that they've played," Scott added. "When they do [have a lull], they've got so much confidence in the way they play and how they play that they don't panic.
"You can be up by 23 [against the Warriors] and it doesn't matter, especially if they've got two quarters left. It's a difference if you're up 23 with five or six minutes left; then you've probably got a great chance of winning that game. But if you give them 24 minutes left in the game, there's not a whole lot of leads that are too big for them [to overcome]."
Scott admires the way the Warriors play, but he isn't exactly looking forward to facing them.
"Basically I look at them as a fan, when I watch them play," Scott said. "Unfortunately I don't have that luxury Tuesday. I love watching them play because they do all the things we talk about. They share the ball. They play for one another. They play as a team."