Since the Cavaliers can nab the Los Angeles Lakers’ draft position only if the Lakers make the playoffs, coach Byron Scott admitted last week he is paying more attention to the Lakers than usual.
“Just a little bit,” he said with a grin. “I find myself looking at ESPN, and when they lose, I’m going, ‘Damn!’ Right now I do keep my eye on them a little more than I probably would have if we didn’t have a chance to get their pick.”
It won’t be easy. Entering their game Saturday against the Sacramento Kings, the Lakers had fallen out of the eighth seed because they don’t hold the tiebreaker with the Utah Jazz, making it imperative they finish ahead of the Jazz in the standings.
The Jazz looked lost and left for dead a couple of weeks ago when they were in town, but they had won three consecutive games entering Saturday and have been invigorated by the Lakers’ injuries and losses.
“Jazz locker room more fired up than I’ve seen it in ages,” Bill Oram, Jazz beat writer for the Salt Lake Tribune, wrote on his Twitter account Friday night following the Jazz’s big win at Portland. “The chatter is back.”