Nearly five hours expressing optimism that Jeremy Lin could play at some point before the 2014-15 season ends, Lakers coach Byron Scott ruled him out for the team’s three remaining games because of continued left knee soreness. Lin also will not travel for the Lakers’ game on Monday in Sacramento.
“I didn’t change my mind,” said Scott before the Lakers (21-58) hosted the Dallas Mavericks (48-31) on Sunday at Staples Center. “I was optimistic this morning seeing him shoot and everything I thought maybe he could try to cut it on [the knee]. I talked to him this morning and he said he didn’t try to cut on it yet. I was feeling pretty good there’s a chance he plays. But I got the news he’s not able to play tonight and be out the rest of the season.”
Lin may never return to the Lakers again considering he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer and experienced plenty of frustrations in his lone season wearing the purple and gold.
His 11.2 points on 42.4 percent shooting and 4.6 assists nearly mirrored his career average through five NBA seasons But Lin had philosophical albeit respectful differences with Scott over his offense, which put less an emphasis on pick-and-roll plays than what Lin would have liked. Lin also lost his starting point guard spot after 19 games for reasons varying to the Lakers’ losing, Scott’s preference for Ronnie Price’s defense and Scott’s preference to develop rookie guard Jordan Clarkson.
“He’s gotten better. When he first got here, his mind of what a point guard is is totally different than mine,” Scott said. “As we went along, he started to understand what I wanted on a day-to-day basis. I thought the progression was much better. But I’m not happy with the way it ended with him being out. He got better throughout the season.”
Scott then praised Lin after offering plenty of pointed critiques regarding his decision making, turnovers, aggressiveness and consistency.
“The one thing about him is the kid takes criticism. You can jump on him about things and he takes it with a grain of salt and tries to get better,” Scott said. “That’s one thing I do love about him. He doesn’t pout about it or doesn’t cry. He goes out there to implement the things you give him to become a better basketball player. He got a lot better mentally as the season went along. A lot of that comes with the understanding of what the coach wants. I saw big time growth from day one to the present day where he got better as a basketball player.”