Two days after remaining defiant about surpassing his self-imposed minutes threshold on Kobe Bryant, Lakers coach Byron Scott has since admitted he needs to stay more disciplined with monitoring Bryant’s playing time.
“It’s really really hard,” Scott said following morning shootaround at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. “I know when he’s out there, we have the best chance to win. But I have to give him rest.”
That’s not how Scott viewed things during the Lakers’ win last week in Detroit and in Friday’s loss to Toronto. Bryant played 36 minutes against Detroit and 37 minutes against Toronto despite Scott’s insistence at the beginning of the season that would never play more than last season’s average of 34.5 minutes per contest. In fact, Scott had previously aimed to keep Bryant’s minutes lower around 28 to 32 minutes per game.
But Scott defended the increased workload, mindful that the Lakers (2-10) could collect any victory they can. Scott also argued Bryant could handle the added minutes since he skipped Monday’s game in Phoenix before mostly resting before Friday’s game against Toronto. Can Scott show more discipline in any future games that will not be decided until the final moments of the fourth quarter?
“I have to fight myself on that,” Scott said. “I don’t want to get to the point where we have so many games left in the season and only 20 games out, hes’ already worn out.”