For the second time this season, Kobe Bryant will be a healthy scratch Monday night for the Los Angeles Lakers, as the team moves forward with a plan to rest the superstar guard as much as possible.
Bryant played well Sunday night against the visiting Indiana Pacers, knocking in the game-winning shot.
Kobe will watch from his couch as the Lakers travel to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers.
HC Byron Scott says he plans to sit @kobebryant on the back-to-back in Portland tomorrow. That will give him Monday & Tuesday to rest.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 5, 2015
Per the OC Register:
Bryant will not play Monday in Portland, as part of Coach Byron Scott’s new plan to hold the 36-year-old superstar out of one game of back-to-back sets. On Sunday against the Pacers, Bryant notched 20 points, but did not travel with the team to the Northwest. […] “You guys might think he probably argued about it and all that,” Scott told reporters before Sunday’s game, “but he said, ‘Sounds good to me.’ He stuck with his plan of, ‘Whatever you want to do.’”
Bryant averaged 35.4 minutes per game over the first 27 games of the season before soreness and fatigue began to noticeably hinder his performance. He missed three games at the end of December, and now will sit out one game of each of the Lakers’ nine remaining back-to-backs.
“We have three games in four nights,” Scott said, “and I thought going into tonight’s game is going to be a tough one. Obviously (Monday in Portland) is going to be tough, Wednesday’s going to be tough. They’re all tough. But to try to get him as much rest as possible it made a lot more sense to me to play tonight and rest Monday and then that means you get also Tuesday a day of rest and get ready for Wednesday.”