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Lakers’ Byron Scott wants more from Carlos Boozer on defense

August 26, 2020

first_imgThe Lakers represented a new chance for Carlos Boozer to re-establish his All-Star credentials. But as the Lakers opened the 2014-15 season by losing their first four consecutive games for the first time in 57 years, Boozer has become the poster child for the Lakers’ league-worst defense that has allowed an average of 118 points per game.“He knows he can play better and I expect him to play better,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said Monday at the Lakers’ practice in El Segundo. “It starts on the defensive end. He has to do a better job against pick-and-roll defense and has to do a better job on guys who are trying to post him up.”Boozer’s defensive miscues marked a primary reason why he sat out for most of the fourth quarters last season in Chicago. After the Bulls waived the 12-year NBA veteran this offseason through the amnesty clause, the Lakers acquired Boozer through a $3.2 million bid. Boozer has started at power forward and is averaging 9.8 points on 43.8 percent shooting, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 turnovers in 25.8 minutes. Meanwhile, Ed Davis has averaged 12 points on a team-leading 70 percent shooting, 6.8 rebounds and one block in 23.8 minutes. But, Scott said he will not make any lineup changes when the Lakers (0-4) host the Phoenix Suns (2-1) tonight at Staples Center. Roster additionLakers forward Ryan Kelly could play tonight against Phoenix after being sidelined since training camp with overlapping injuries to his left and right hamstrings. Kelly practiced for about an hour on Monday, though he did not play during the Lakers’ scrimmage that was open to the media toward the tail end of practice. Scott said Kelly “looked OK,” but his status will become more definitive following this morning’s shootaround.Kelly’s return would likely enhance the team’s 3-point shooting, which currently ranks 16th out of 30 NBA teams with a 31.6 percent clip. “That’s something I can do in spreading the floor,” Kelly said. “I can be helpful there. I’m unique in that way.”Injury updateLakers forward Nick Young is wearing what Scott described as a “soft cast,” Scott said Young will begin ball-handling drills this week and shooting drills next week. Young is expected to return from a right thumb injury later this month. “I told our bigs they have to do better job of being up,” Scott said. “When they’re back, which to me is a soft defense, guards are turning a corner and have a chance to attack our bigs.”It sounds like Boozer understands that message.“In the West, the guards are great every night,” Boozer said. “The bigs have to be there to help them.”Scott has praised Boozer’s experience as a 12-year NBA veteran, two-time All-Star and 2008 Olympic gold medalist. Scott has also gushed about Boozer’s leadership, which partly entailed mentoring rookie Julius Randle before he suffered a season-ending right leg injury in the Lakers’ season opener last week against Houston. But that has become overshadowed by Boozer’s defense and the eight turnovers he had last week in Phoenix. “I’m trying to get used to playing with different guys and running a different system,” Boozer said. “I’ll get used to it.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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