EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Byron Scott said he wants to start resting Kobe Bryant more during practice days to preserve the Los Angeles Lakers star for games, where Scott would like to keep playing Bryant between 30 to 40 minutes.
Scott, the Lakers coach, said Bryant did light shooting and little else during practice here Monday. Scott added that Bryant would have a similar off-day Tuesday in advance of Wednesday's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The move to rest Bryant more during practices -- a tactic that Bryant has done several times in previous seasons -- comes after Bryant has mentioned his legs feeling heavy after recent games, which Bryant said had affected his shooting.
Bryant, now in his 19th season, is averaging 35.7 minutes per game, the 13th-most in the league entering Monday.
"You try to kind of work your way through it a little bit, but everything's short," Bryant said after a 6-for-22 night in a loss against Dallas on Friday. "It's just one of those 36-year-old [hiccups]."
Scott said Monday that Bryant “was upset with himself” because many of his shots were short in Sunday’s overtime loss to Denver, when Bryant shot 4-of-14 from the field in the fourth quarter and overtime after shooting 6-for-10 in the first three quarters. Bryant tied his season-high with 44 minutes in the loss.
Scott said fatigue is normal, given that Bryant missed all but six games last season after fracturing his knee.
“I said, that’s expected when you haven’t played that long, you miss that length of time, being a year off,” Scott said, “and then you come back basically with a bang because that adrenaline is flowing.
“Then sooner or later, during the season, it’s going to catch up to you. We've just got to rejuvenate and get back there. He will. I think that this week at home, getting a couple days off here and there will definitely help him.”