Prologue: Yes, it was Pressey on the sidelines, not Scott. But the assistant didn’t take Lin out on a whim. The minutes were planned, and taking the beat player out for the final 16 minutes is a Scott/front office directive. That’s why he’s the only one referenced in ths post.
The media is complementing Jordan Clarkson for his performances in overtime, but him and Byron Scott (Paul Pressey) almost cost the Los Angeles Lakers a rare win. The player for doing a terrible job in the fourth quarter, and the head coach for once again benching Jeremy Lin at the worst possible time and leaving him out of the game.
Getting a lineup spot doesn’t mean much in Scott’s book, who has his weird rotation and way of reviewing players. Jeremy Lin was the best player on the floor for 29 minutes (+15 for the Lakers in that time) with 19 points and five assists. But then, with over 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter and a nine point lead for the Lakers over the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, Scott (Pressey) decided he’s seen enough and tried to give someone else a go. Or maybe he tried to lose the game.
The Lakers did pull through, 101-99, mostly because Clarkson kept getting to the line in overtime, repenting for all of his misses and turnovers in the fourth quarter, allowing the Timberwolves, the worst team in the Western conference, to come back. The Timberwolves are in tank mode as well, but at least Flip Saunders doesn’t do things like take out Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine during the most important moments of the game.
So what did Scott (Pressey) want to see? Hard to say. Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill are both “victims” to the tanking machine and sat out this game and might be sitting out some more in the near future. This is the NBA in 2015: Players are getting paid millions but are shelved so they don’t interfere with some weird process of losing as much as possible while reviewing prospects, which can also be done without trying as hard as possible to lose.
Clarkson scored 20 points for the Lakers although he did more harm than good during long stretches of this game with his 6-of-16 from the field and six turnovers. But he seems to be the one player the Lakers are interested in his development, so Scott (Pressey) his oblivious to the mistakes he is making, or how bad the offense looks when Clarkson is the one running the floor.
When comparing to where Lin was before the All-Star break, it’s hard for him to complain. He’s averaging 14.1 points per game in March and 22.3 over the last three games, playing just under 30 minutes a night. It’s hard to believe there is some specific order from Scott (Pressey) to shoot more, but Lin has suddenly upped his field goal attempts with 41 over the last three games. There’s no reason for Lin to shoot less than 12 or 13 times in a game, especially with his role and the players around him.
A win for the Lakers is always something to celebrate, although somewhere Kobe Bryant is sulking, thinking to himself that real Lakers don’t celebrate when the season is so bad. But Bryant is irrelevant which is a good thing for most of the players on this team, no longer having to hide from his ominous figure. Too bad Scott (Pressey), an irrelevant coach in 2015, is actually making decisions on an NBA team.