Through 14 games this season, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is averaging 35.7 minutes per game. Not only is Bryant playing the most minutes per game amongst his Laker teammates, he’s 12th league wide in total minutes played (500.) As a Laker fan, this is slightly concerning as Bryant is a 36-year-old coming off of two major injuries with an already excessive amount of milage on his body.
After going 6-for-22 against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, Bryant had this to say to ESPNLosAngeles’ Baxter Holmes about battling fatigue:
“You try to kind of work your way through it a little bit, but everything’s short,” Bryant said after a 6-for-22 night in a loss against Dallas on Friday. “It’s just one of those 36-year-old [hiccups].”
So what does Lakers head coach Byron Scott plan to do about this issue? Scott has stated that he plans to give Bryant more rest in practice to keep him fresh for games, hoping Bryant can continue to play 30-40 minutes per contest.
“I said, that’s expected when you haven’t played that long, you miss that length of time, being a year off,” Scott said, “and then you come back basically with a bang because that adrenaline is flowing.
“Then sooner or later, during the season, it’s going to catch up to you. We’ve just got to rejuvenate and get back there. He will. I think that this week at home, getting a couple days off here and there will definitely help him.”
After playing an extremely efficient first half against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night, Bryant was 4-of-14 in the fourth quarter and overtime, and most of his shots fell noticeably short. The Lakers lost the contest 101-94, and Bryant played 44 minutes, the second time he’s done that this season.
The Lakers will play the Memphis Grizzlies at home on Wednesday night, the second game of their current four game home stand.