Heading into his 20th NBA season, there were questions about Kobe Bryant and how his minutes would be managed by head coach Byron Scott. Prior to his season-ending shoulder injury, Kobe was among the league leaders in minutes as the end of his career approaches.
With the losses piling up for the Lakers, Kobe has seen his minutes gradually increase. After playing 36 minutes against the Detroit Pistons, Kobe was forced to rest against the Phoenix Suns.
In the loss to the Toronto Raptors, Kobe finished with 10 points, four rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes. Following the game, Scott was asked about playing his aging superstar major minutes via Ryan Ward of Examiner.com:
Byron Scott on Kobe Bryant playing 37 minutes: "I just left him out because we needed him out there."
— Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner) November 21, 2015
At this stage of his career, Kobe should not be playing major minutes if he wants to stay relatively healthy for an entire season. With three major injuries, limiting his minutes is an important factor if Lakers want to see him playing in April.
With the Lakers hosting the Portland Trail Blazers, it will be interesting to see if Kobe is able to play. Following the win over the Pistons, he missed the second game of a back-to-back situation and needed four days of recovery.
In nine games, Kobe is averaging 16.1 points on 34 percent shooting.