The return of Byron Scott to the sidelines didn’t help out Jeremy Lin or the Los Angeles Lakers, losing 94-83 to the Toronto Raptors and keeping their wins in recent games over tanking teams exclusively.
Lin led the Lakers with 18 points, doing a bit better, along with his other teammates, in the first half. The Lakers started strong in the first quarter but were outscored by 18 points the rest of the way. Lin scored just two points in the third quarter while missing too many shots before doing a bit better in the minutes he was given in the fourth quarter, although it was a bit too late.
Lin also grabbed 7 rebounds and added 5 assists. It was weird to see Scott’s decisions when it comes to substitutions, although it’s never something that follows logic. Lin played the entire third quarter, was benched midway through the fourth quarter and when things were getting out of hand, Lin was brought back to help cut the lead down to something a bit more respectable.
So it this part of the “lose until it’s impossible to come back from it” the Lakers seem to be deploying from time to time? Or simply Scott making random decisions that have nothing to do with the direction of the game. Why not rest Lin a little bit in the third quarter, in which he didn’t play his best basketball and could have used a little bit of rest, so he’ll be fresh to be going for most of the fourth quarter and maybe bring the game back to the Lakers?
Besides Lin, we saw Clarkson play another game in which he fends well for himself with 14 points, but does almost nothing for anyone else. It’s not just the 0 assists, always a misleading statistic, but it’s simply the way he plays. He has long arms and good control of his body when attacking the basket, but he’s not the point guard the Lakers are hoping he can be. Playing next to Kobe Bryant next season isn’t going to help either of them.
And Lin? He might be doing enough to earn himself a good contract with a number of teams next season by playing more aggressively and taking care of his own numbers, not just making sure everyone is happy around him. Considering where we are in the season and how much Lin has been through in another difficult year, it’s good to see him playing this way.
The funny thing about the Lakers? Lin trying to do things on his own, because we know there’s almost zero connection and mentor-pupil relationship between him and his head coach, is the best thing that’s happened to the Lakers over the last few weeks. He’s their best player, and always has been since Kobe Bryant went down with another injury. It’s too bad it took this long for true and best basketball qualities to come out and be put on display, at least most of the time.