Jeremy Lin’s Playing Time Will Continue to Suffer After Kobe Bryant Injury

The Los Angeles Lakers don’t care about your conventional wisdom. 

Conventional wisdom would suggest that the removal of an injured Kobe Bryant from the lineup would free up more playing time and shooting opportunities for fellow backcourt mate Jeremy Lin considering Bryant’s 22.3 points per game and, most importantly, 20.4 field-goal attempts per game.

That is a lot of scoring and shooting that has to go to someone on Los Angeles.

Lin was the only other guard on the roster (Nick Young is listed as a small forward) outside of Bryant averaging double-figures scoring entering Friday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, so the ball would likely be in his hands even more so than usual after Bryant’s injury.

After all, Bryant may be one of the greatest players of all time, but he’s not exactly someone who is known to willingly give up shots on a consistent basis.

Conventional wisdom was wrong Friday.

Lin didn’t just miss out on that increase of usage, he missed out on the entire game against San Antonio. Lin received a "Did Not Play" for the game based on a coach’s decision, which triggered these reactions from Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times and Adi Joseph of USA Today:

Howard Megdal of Sports Illustrated and USA Today looked at the decision to not play Lin through that prism of no Bryant and certainly seemed surprised by coach Byron Scott’s decision:

Perhaps the craziest thing of all regarding Lin’s zero minutes on Friday was that the lack of playing time may not be a blip on the radar screen moving forward.

While Lin is certainly not the player he used to be when he was the talk of the league in a New York Knicks uniform, this situation is more about the long-term future of the team than any shortcomings in Lin’s game.


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