14 games into the 2015-16 Los Angeles Lakers season, Kobe Bryant has struggled to regain his form in his 20th season. Although Kobe is averaging 15.2 points, he is shooting a career-worst 31.1 percent from the field and 19.5 percent from three.
In the blowout loss against the Golden State Warriors, Kobe tied a career-low shooting performance by going 1-for 14. While the five-time champion believes there are bigger issues at hand, he has not been efficient and isolation plays have hurt the team’s ball movement.
Despite the struggles, head coach Byron Scott says he has not considered reducing Kobe’s role or minutes according to Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
Lakers coach Byron Scott says he hasn't considered reducing Kobe Byrant's role or minutes.
— Baxter Holmes (@BaxterHolmes) November 25, 2015
At the age of 37 and coming off three consecutive season-ending injuries, it was necessary to put a minutes restriction on Kobe heading into the new season. While he is averaging 30.5 minutes through 11 games, Scott recently played him major minutes against the Detroit Pistons (36) and Toronto Raptors (37).
With the goal to keep Kobe relatively healthy for what may be the final season of his career, Scott will eventually have to reduce his role and minutes. For Kobe, he has previously found success as a facilitator, but has reverted back to being a high-volume shooter.
With the Lakers 2-12 to start the season, it will not get any easier for them. Nine of their next 10 games are on the road and if they do not address their issues soon, it will be interesting to see what develops between Scott, Kobe and the team’s young core.