Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error He is not imitating Ebenezer Scrooge. Instead, Scott wants to practice in Denver on Sunday and Monday for one specific reason.“Get ready for that altitude,” Scott said. “When you play that day and night, guys are dead because the altitude gets to you. I want our guys to get used to it. Then we have no excuse about the altitude.” Another assignmentFor the second time in less than a week, the Lakers assigned seldom-used forwards Ryan Kelly and Tarik Black to their Development League affiliate, the D-Fenders. The Lakers did that so Kelly and Black could appear in Friday’s game against the Idaho Stampede. With the Lakers on the road until Tuesday, Kelly and Black will also play for the D-Fenders in games on Sunday (vs. Rio Grande) and Tuesday (vs. Santa Cruz). He said itRandle on if he gets excited playing against opposing team’s star players: “I play with Kobe (Bryant) so I’m past that.” A blank expression formed on Julius Randle’s face as he sat on the bench. He was well on his way toward another double-double performance. He had exuded his dependable strengths with his overwhelming power. He had shown glimpses of his potential with his first NBA career 3-pointer and a left hook shot.But there Randle sat on the bench with 6:01 remaining of the Lakers’ eventual 107-87 loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday at Staples Center. He looked dejected as he stared straight ahead as he sat alone on the bench during a timeout. He finished with 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes. But one can only wonder how much more Randle would have produce had he played longer.“I don’t make decisions with playing time,” said Randle, who only played the final 3:46 because center Roy Hibbert fouled out. “The thing that I always tell you guys is I control what I can and I go out there and play hard. I let our coaches decide who’s in and who’s not.”Lately, Lakers coach Byron Scott has decided to bring Randle off the bench despite the Lakers’ No. 7 pick of the 2014 NBA Draft representing part of their long-term future. “He’s a rookie to me,” Scott said, noting that Randle only played one game last season before breaking his right leg. “He still has to play basketball the right way, with swinging the ball, setting screens, rolling to the basket, running on the break and getting back in transition. He has to master all those little things to be good in this league.”So far, the demotion has yielded mixed results. Randle posted 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting and 12 rebounds in 33 minutes in last week’s overtime loss in Minnesota. But Randle followed that up with two quiet games in which he combined for 11 points on 5-of-20 shooting (25 percent) and 17 rebounds. But Randle has since bounced back with two consecutive double-double performances in which he has averaged 16 points and 14 rebounds in 24 minutes per contest. “You guys (media members) were asking if I was discouraged about the shots I was missing,” Randle recalled about his recent slump. “I’m getting those same shots I’m making. I’m never going to get discouraged.”Schedule quirkThe Lakers could have returned home Sunday, leaving players and staff members some time with family and close ones before Tuesday’s game in Denver. But Scott decided otherwise.
Previous ArticleIreland ceases McCarthy and replaces Stephen Kenny