One of the main complaints of this season has been the high usage of Kobe Bryant. In his 19th season, Kobe averaged over 35 minutes per night going into Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns.
On Sunday, Kobe’s minutes were down to 32 as Byron Scott looked to give Kobe a little more rest. After the game, Kobe spoke about how minutes can differ from game to game via the Lakers official Twitter page:
Kobe acknowledged that 30 minutes one night could be easier than 30 on another night: “All minutes aren’t created equal.”
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 29, 2014
It is an interesting way to look at things as in addition to being on the floor for 35 minutes a night, Kobe also had the highest usage percentage in the league. Kobe was exerting himself for far too long when he was on the floor.
In his first game back after missing three to rest, Kobe was much more subdued, taking only 10 shots and playing a more all-around game. Ultimately, the Lakers still fell short against the Suns, but Kobe flirted with a triple-double, adding eight rebounds and seven assists to his 10 points.
Kobe took a backseat in this game, choosing not to force the action and even deferring to Nick Young on numerous occasions down the stretch of the fourth quarter. With the Lakers needing a basket late, Kobe drove and found an open Wesley Johnson when he was crowded around the basket.
Byron Scott continuing to limit Kobe’s minutes will definitely play a big role in how Kobe feels from game to game, but Kobe playing this style will also allow him to remain fresh as the season wears on.[divide]
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