Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott insisted that he wasn’t interested in the NBA Draft implications of Monday night’s win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
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In a game between two of the NBA’s worst teams on Monday night, the Lakers claimed a 113-111 win over the 76ers with rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson making a basket with 0.7 seconds left in overtime to win the game.
Clarkson scored 26 points and dished out 11 assists in an impressive performance, but it was a game both teams had incentive to lose ahead of the NBA Draft 2015.
The Sixers currently hold the league’s third-worst record while the Lakers have the fourth-worst mark with only the Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks faring worse than both teams this season.
However, specifically related to this game, Philadelphia will get the Lakers’ first-round pick through a previous trade if it falls out of the top five.
While that would suggest that Scott’s team were better off losing the game, the Lakers coach insisted that he wasn’t concerned with lottery balls and what the result could mean in the long run as he is focused on building a winning culture at the organisation regardless of the circumstances.
“I don’t care about that stuff. It’s all about trying to get better as a basketball team and trying to win games,” he said, ESPN reports.
Many fans will disagree with that strategy given that this season has been a failure and the focus is now on rebuilding for next season.
The Lakers will likely still have their high Draft pick as well as significant salary cap space to sign free agents. It will be an important year next season given that it will be Kobe Bryant’s last in the NBA.