The Los Angeles Lakers are back in Southern California, bringing the Golden State Warriors with them after a trip up to Sacramento. The Warriors have been the best team in the NBA all season and Stephen Curry is shooting his way to what may be a Most Valuable Player award. What does this mean for the Lakers? Lots, and lots, of points will rain down on the hardwood Tuesday night.
But Tuesday night won't be about the Splash Brothers drenching the Lakers. Tuesday night is the first step toward what should be a lighter workload for Kobe Bryant. Byron Scott already hinted he's looking at games to rest him, and wants to cut back on his minutes.
27 games in, and Scott is now shifting his gears to preserve Kobe. An 8-of-30 performance was the last straw, and the Lakers head coach sounds like he's ready to take responsibility for playing Kobe 35.4 minutes per game at the age of 36. Looking over minutes of players at least 30 years old, Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James are the only players playing more minutes per game than Kobe Bryant. That's not a good stat.
Less Kobe could mean more Nick Young and Wayne Ellington, with an outside chance of Jordan Clarkson getting some burn, which sounds like a viable option for now. The Lakers are still trying to win games, yes, but both Ellington and Young have been useful off the bench. There's no real reason to grind Kobe into dust before reaching the midway point of the season, so let's see if Scott sticks to changing the rotation.
This is the last Lakers game until Christmas, where they get a chance to pay a visit to an old friend in Pau, so enjoy the game and happy holidays.
Time: 7:30 p.m. PT