Lakers’ Byron Scott plans to start Jeremy Lin in last 10 games of season

"Lakers Coach Byron Scott has a word with Lakers#17 Jeremy Lin in the first half. The Lakers played the Houston Rockets in the opening game of the 2014-2015 Season.  Los Angeles, CA. 10/28/2014 (Photo by John McCoy Daily News )"

“Lakers Coach Byron Scott has a word with Lakers#17 Jeremy Lin in the first half. The Lakers played the Houston Rockets in the opening game of the 2014-2015 Season. Los Angeles, CA. 10/28/2014 (Photo by John McCoy Daily News )”

Lakers coach Byron Scott will soon make a move that Jeremy Lin supports.

Scott plans to start Lin at point guard, likely with 10 games left in the season. The timing is not definitive. The Lakers (17-46) will host the Atlanta Hawks (51-14) on Sunday at Staples Center featuring Jordan Clarkson at point guard for the 22nd consecutive start. The Lakers will also feature Wayne Ellington (shooting guard), Wesley Johnson (small forward), Jordan Hill (power forward) and Tarik Black (center), a lineup that has started for the past three contests.

But Scott plans to start Ryan Kelly at power forward at some point and Lin at point guard, the latter scenario seeming more definitive on the timing.

“I want to see how much of a difference it is now as opposed to the start of the season,” Scott said after Sunday’s morning shootaround at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “He knows the offense better and he knows what I need from him every single night on both ends of the floor. Now to see him in a starting role, it would be a little bit of a change. He was thinking so much back earlier in the season. Right now, he’s just playing.”

Lin started the first 19 games of the season only to lose his starting spot in favor of veteran guard Ronnie Price because of Scott’s preference for his defense and floor leadership. Lin averaged 11.6 points on 44.9 percent shooting and five assists in 29.6 minutes per contest as 23 games as a starter. In 40 games off the bench, Lin averaged similar numbers with a 10.6 points per game average on 42.6 percent shooting and 4.6 assists despite less playing time (23.6 minutes per game).

Lin cited his adjustments in playing Scott’s Princeton-based offense and sharing ball-handling duties with Kobe Bryant. But Scott downplayed if Bryant’s absence because of a season-long right shoulder injury will make it easier for Lin to play as a starter.

“His role won’t change,” Scott said. “It will be the same. I want to keep it as simple as possible. But anytime you don’t have Kobe on the floor, it will be different. You can play without the ball a whole lot more since he draws so much more attention, he draws easier shots. When he’s not on the floor, it makes it tougher.”

How so?

“You have to move the ball better and set better screens and all the things we’ve been talking about,” Scott said. “We don’t want him to be a ball stopper. I just want guys to still continue to move on the offensive end so we can get the best possible shots.”

Clarkson has excelled as a starter, averaging 14 points on 44.5 percent shooting and 4.1 assists in 30.2 minutes. The Lakers also appear invested in developing Clarkson, whom the Lakers hold as a team option for the 2015-16 season. That juxtaposes with Lin, who will become an unrestricted free agent after making $14.9 million this past season.

Yet, Scott argued featuring Clarkson off the bench will also provide insight on how he plays in a different role.

“I’d just like to see JC come off the bench,” Scott said, “and see what he provides.”

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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  • Jody

    Why bother with games against PHI, NOP, POR, LAC x2, DEN, MIN, DAL, SAC x2?

    Lin is a one dimensional player who cannot play playoff basketball. Waste of time keeping him. Sign Rajon Rondo and continue to develop Jordan Clarkson.

    • LegendInMyMind

      No to Rondo, he’s done. It isn’t 2008 anymore, he’s a bad contract waiting to happen. The kind of player the Lakers would wind up having to trade draft picks to get rid of…

      • Joseph Apohen

        I agree.

    • Tom Gardner

      Have you actually seen Rondo play recently? He’s over the hill. Lin is better. Clarkson certainly has more upside. A waste of big bucks to bring Rondo to LA. Can’t even shoot a free throw…you want him with the ball down the stretch?

    • Joseph Apohen

      I agree except don’t bring Rondo here. Sign Dragic until Westbrook is available. For now, keep Clarkson as the starter. He is already a better player than Lin who cannot defend and always put himself in a compromising situation. Kelley a pf? He is useless, cannot defend, shoot, or rebound.

      • LegendInMyMind

        Kelly is serviceable on the bench until better options present themselves for a rotation. He still has upside as a shooter/rebounder. Can’t rebuild the whole team overnight. I say develop your young guys, draft the best big man you can in the draft, be it Towns, Cauley Stein, or Okafor, and look for help at the SF position in free agency. Dragic is probably gonna stay in Miami, and I think they should continue to let Clarkson start anyway. It’s good experience for him. Also, I really doubt Westbrook is going to consider the Lakers, home or not. Just can’t see it.

        • Joseph Apohen

          Money will bring Westbrook to L.A. along with KLove who has been lost in Cleveland and is not the same player he should be as he’s shown in the past. Kelley is too frail looking and appears lethargic. Lakers will not contend for the championship this year as perhaps money may not be enough to sign some top notch players. However, 2016 will bring lots of cash to entice players like KDurant, provided Kobe retires or takes a big cut should he decides to return which I hope he does if he is physically fit. I hope the team gets one of the top centers like MGasol, Vucevic, or Cousins. Then we can talk championship although I am not sure Scott is the right coach to lead them to the promise land. I believe the present team has players that could help in the rebuilding process and come off the bench, such as Davis, Johnson, Ellington, Hill, and Swaggy P. If the Lakers were successful in having a chance for four first round draftees, perhaps they can give up the three in exchange for the #1 pick as we cannot have too many rookies. I understand the team cannot be rebuilt overnight, but two or three good pieces will do wonders.

  • p452833

    It doesn’t matter he starts or not, if BS doesn’t want to take his hand cuff off and let him play his game, it’s not gonna work, BS should know by now – Princeton offense sucks.

  • hoperhetoric

    Fire this byron scott!!!! He is deflecting the blame to every players to save himself!!!! Keeps changing the lineup.

    I bet if hawks/raptors/warriors/spurs coach are coaching this lakers team they will be in the same record as mavericks etc, or 30+wins already. Scott is making excuses about too many new unguranteed players. If we saw glimpses of good lakers when beating warriors, hawks, spurs,raptors its proven they have talent to win atleast 40games. The inconsistency should be blamed to the coach!!!! Black coaches lacks something in leadership. Mike brown/woodson/shaw/mark jackson/obama

    • Joseph Apohen

      What team did Obama coached?

    • Rodney King

      Obama ROFLMAO!!

  • John Henry

    BS is trying to saving his butt for tanking LAL unintentionally.

  • hookedonnews

    This makes sense only if they are planning on re-signing Lin or figuring out if they want to keep him. Otherwise playing time for Clarkson would seem to be the priority. I don’t really know what Scott is doing. And I don’t agree that the team should play differently when Kobe is on the floor. That’s the problem. He is a ball-stopper. Of course, that’s not going to change so it is what it is. I just wish he would try to play within an offense instead of trying to be the offense. I can’t say I really agree with Scott’s approach, but maybe he knows something I don’t (which of course is true in the broader sense, but a lot of people wonder what he’s doing).

    • Peter

      5-6 years ago Kobe was a ball stopper… But back then he had age on his side and enough talent to play 1 on 5. This current Kobe isn’t really doing that though. He was expecting to play less minutes as soon as the season started though Scott didn’t listen. He consistently says he would rather someone else take over the show. Obviously him saying that and going through the process of doing that are to completely different things. But Kobe coming out and telling people he doesn’t want to be the alpha dog any more says a lot about him at this stage in his career, especially because we all know him as that guy that wants to be the show. Scott is too much of a fan to see that Kobe needs a system at this stage of his career. He wants to be effective but its very clear that he isn’t trying to be the game changer he was 4 years ago. Kobe should be playing 25 mins a game and more depending on how important games are. He shouldn’t have to carry the offensive load or even be the first option any more, even on a team with limited talent. Kobe will still play great no matter what, but if Scott can’t help him out by being a good coach, next season will be the same story.His illustrious career ends with him getting injured again. Our team isn’t bad to be honest but Scott isn’t a good coach.

      • hookedonnews

        Dude, who are you watching? Go back and look at his shots per game. He hasn’t changed. As a politician once said, don’t listen to what I say, watch what I do. I don’t think Scott is the right coach for Kobe, but then Phil Jackson said he’s not coachable. I have to agree. He’s going to do what he’s going to do. He’s been doing it his whole career, and he’s not suddenly going to turn into someone else. We all agree that at this point in his career he shouldn’t have to carry the load, but who else is going to carry it and would Kobe be down with that? I don’t think he’s going to play second fiddle to anyone. All you can hope for is that he’s able to play at a high level and doesn’t get injured. Next season is likely his last unless he sees an opportunity to compete for a championship. That probably won’t happen for at least a couple of years.

        This team isn’t good enough (especially with the injuries this season) to compete in the West, but I am also not thrilled with Scott as coach. I don’t like his offensive schemes, and his personnel decisions are head-scratchers to say the least. I like him personally, but never thought he was the best coach available.

      • Joseph Apohen

        Kobe should be the Tim Duncan of the team.

    • Joseph Apohen

      I don’t like BS coaching style. I don’t agree with having different starters every so often. He also does not have the guts to tell Kobe to play in a team concept. I love Kobe, but he is no longer the one who scored 81 points, 66 points in three quarters, etc. He is no longer the offensive machine he was. Change the style and adopt the Warriors’ style. They may not have the players Kerr has, but it can be done. Practice, practice, and more practice.

      • hookedonnews

        I don’t think it’s a matter of not having the guts to tell Kobe, I don’t think he sees the need to do it. I agree otherwise with pretty much everything you said. Don’t think we’re going to get that kind of offense with Scott though. He’s old school, and I doubt he’s going to change.

  • Adlaker12

    All these critics of Byron coaching style. Lin fan boy ok we get it you dont like Byron because he wont start you boy, fine dont worry about it. Lin will be a free agent and you can go cry about the next coaches style when he not starting him either. For the rest of you how would you know what Byron style looks like if he hasn’t had the right talent to run it. In case you haven’t been watching we had injuries from day one No Nash or Randle from just about game one. Lost Kobe after what 30 games Swaggy been out for the last two with Price.