Why the Lakers Should Sit Kobe Bryant Every 4th Regular-Season Game

There's a relatively simple explanation for why the Los Angeles Lakers should rest Kobe Bryant once every four games.

Because they can.

Sure, it's hard to imagine head coach Mike Brown doing anything of the sort after playing the then 33-year-old Bryant 38.5 minutes per game. Legendary though Kobe may be, that's a lot of minutes even for the quasi-mythical variety of roundball superstar.

There's still at least some reason to think Brown may change his strategy.

After all, forcing Kobe to sit once every few games might make Brown feel a bit better about playing him all those minutes. His injured shin created a pretext for resting him late last season; the added rest didn't seem to hurt him in the postseason.

In 12 playoff games, Bryant twice eclipsed to the 40-point mark and scored 38 on two other occasions. 

Between the small sample size and the fact that Kobe is no stranger to scoring big, that isn't exactly conclusive evidence in defense of more rest, but it's at least consistent with the premise that it's a good idea.

It's also an idea of which Mike Brown's mentor Gregg Popovich has grown quite fond. 

When San Antonio Spurs veterans Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili reached their mid-30s, Popovich took to sitting them with some regularity as the season wound on. In Duncan's case, he all but formalized a policy precluding him from playing in back-to-back games.

Brown should be all the more tempted to do something similar with Bryant.

If for no other reason than he can afford to.

The Lakers have the kind of options that make Bryant a tad superfluous against the league's lesser competition. It's hard to imagine Los Angeles' record taking much of a hit in the event its go-to scorer sat out against the likes of the Charlotte Bobcats, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Hornets or Cleveland Cavaliers.

And, even if th...

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