The Los Angeles Lakers carry on the tradition of losing close games as they seem competitive but really aren’t while Jeremy Lin seems to be losing his patience with the coaching style of Byron Scott, which is mostly about trying to lose games and making life as difficult as possible for Lin.
During one of his benchings, Lin and Scott had a heated exchange. It’s not quite clear why Scott benched Lin, who scored on a previous play. Some think it might be of an earlier defensive play, or for not passing to a wide open Jabari Brown. Lin is allowed to be selfish to. Or maybe he isn’t, because the standards he’s being held up to are completely different compared to the rest of this team.
The Warriors won 108-105 with Lin missing most of the final three minutes after two turnovers that helped the Warriors regain their lead (95-95). Lin had a lot to do with the Lakers actually bouncing back and tying the game, but turnovers from him result in getting benched. Jordan Clarkson making mistakes only receive a pat on the back and more minutes.
With the Lakers still within a 3-pointer of tying the game in the final seconds, the ball went to Wesley Johnson who tried dribbling up the court and going up for a shot, having three seconds to make it happen. Johnson ran into Draymond Green along the way, who poked the ball on Johnson’s knee. Final turnover for the Lakers, maybe the least coached team in the league, and the end of the game for them.
Lin finished with 15 points in 23 minutes, four assists and two blocks. One of his blocks was quite the impressive one on Draymond Green. He also made Shaun Livingston test his agility with some swift dribbling moves. Entertaining, and also efficient most of the time, although the Lakers were losing by 10 points during his time on the floor, compared to a +10 in Clarkson’s 25 minutes, scoring 17 points.
There’s no use in asking why Lin is playing just 23 minutes a night, even if it is an improvement compared to the 19 he had in the previous game. There’s no use in asking why Scott does why he does. He says things and contradicts himself later on. His substitutions make no sense, his players have no system to operate in. It’s simply about catching a good day from one of them and the understanding they have with each other on the floor. Sometimes it actually leads to wins, although the coach tries to interfere.
Yesterday we wrote about Scott doing everything he can to push Lin out of this team. Lin arguing with him with the world watching means he’s had enough of the “special” treatment from his dysfunctional head coach. Lin isn’t going to be playing for the Lakers next season, and all that’s left for him to do, as he did in this game, is make sure his stock in the free agent market is as high as possible. Sometimes it means being selfish, even if it’s against everything in Lin’s nature as a basketball player.