The 2014/15 season has not been kind to the Los Angeles Lakers, and Monday's practice only served as a fast reminder of that fact. The Lakers trailed the LA Clippers by as many as 43 points on Sunday night, and the purpose of Monday's practice was to avoid a repeat of that embarrassment come Tuesday.
Due to a strange scheduling quirk, the Lakers and Clippers play each other twice in three days.
"I think it's a great learning experience for (Clarkson), because to me, (Chris Paul) is the best point guard in this league and on both ends of the floor," Lakers coach Byron Scott said early Monday afternoon.
Paul finished with 15 assists in a rout of the Lakers that allowed the veteran point guard to rest for the entire fourth quarter of Sunday's game. Unlike the Lakers, the Clippers continue to fight for playoff position.
Asked why the Lakers continued to practice with only six games remaining, lopsided losses latching onto the team and no chance of making the playoffs, Scott laughed and said, "The season ain't [sic] over. The only thing right now that is a definite is that we're not making the playoffs. Other than that, we still got work to do."
Scott added, "I don't quit."
The Lakers' coach shared that he spent time speaking with Clarkson and Julius Randle about being professionals and continuing to work despite the record and the late stage in the season. Scott, who previously coached Paul in New Orleans, said the Clippers' point guard "schooled" Clarkson. However, the coach sounded confident that his rookie would respond to the challenge on Tuesday.
"It's good," Clarkson said about playing the Clippers in back-to-back games. "I could definitely redeem myself. That was probably one of my worst games yesterday in terms of shooting and my impact on the game."
The rookie added, "All I was thinking about after the game was Tuesday."