Why Mike Brown Should Bench His Starters On Thursday vs. Kings

Well, the answer to the heading here is quite simple: prevent injuries. Or, in actuality, to let the starters get some rest and heal up before the start of the regular season.

As Mike Trudell reports, Kobe Bryant sustained an injury during the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Sacramento Kings:

Additionally, you may have seen Steve Nash twist his ankle during that game as well, although he appears to be just fine.

Metta World Peace suffered a dislocated middle finger as well:

On top of that, you may have seen Dwight Howard fall hard on his back after a shove by DeMarcus Cousins. Although Howard felt fine after the game, it’s those kinds of incidents you simply don’t want to see in the preseason for an aging veteran team whose players have dealt with numerous injuries over the years.

Add in Pau Gasol, who played the second most total minutes in the league last season and led the Spanish National Team to the Gold medal game (and eventually won the Silver) over the summer, and you have a case for resting every single starter on the team.

You may now be asking, “well, why shouldn’t coach Brown have just benched them for the remaining two games then?”

Well, as a fan, I simply wanted to see the Lakers play against the Clippers at full strength and really get after it.

But, I can make an argument for why they (the starters)  should have played on Wednesday, but rest on Thursday.

“That would be even worse, wouldn’t it? Two teams getting physical with each other for a meaningless game, and you want them to play that game?” you may be pondering, and my answer remains, yes.

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“Why not let them just play on Thursday then?” you may ask. Well, because although the injuries to the aforementioned players appear minor, it’s still a good idea to let them heal up a bit. Playing in back-to-back games is simply not the best way to do it.

However, because the injuries are minor, the players are going to want to get out there and play, and they should, which is why Nash and Gasol played Wednesday. You don’t want seven games of rust accumulating before playing in the season-opener.

Seven games compared to five, or even four (if they play Thursday), may not seem like a big deal, but you want them to maintain a solid rhythm without overstepping any boundaries as well. Playing on Wednesday would give them the most rest without losing much rhythm.

I’m sure that all of these players could suit up for the back-to-back no problem, but the underlying theme will be how much Mike Brown needs to monitor this team and keep his veterans fresh.

I would not expect him to do this during the regular season, but I think it would be beneficial for the whole team if he did so on Thursday. It would still make sense for coach Brown to bench his starters on Thursday, however, as it would likely benefit the bench.

Next Page: How It Would Benefit The Bench

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