There was some logic behind the seeming madness of Lakers’ coach Byron Scott in talking of starting journeyman Ronnie Price over the superior Jeremy Lin at point guard, as he did in the Lakers last preseason game. First, the starting unit will see the ball in Kobe Bryant’s hands a lot, and Lin is not a guy who does much for a team off the ball. Plus, Lin’s aggressive attacking off the pick-and-roll has shown some chemistry with backup big Ed Davis in the preseason (and without Nick Young until December the Lakers’ bench needs scoring punch).
But alas, injuries have the Lakers changing their plans at the point guard spot. Again.
Price has an injury so Lin will start against his old team the Rockets Tuesday when both teams tip off the NBA season, Byron Scott announced Sunday.
Despite denying it, I have no doubt Lin would love to show Houston what they gave up, but he is likely to have a rough opening game with one of the best defensive point guards in the game, Patrick Beverley, as his opposite number. Rather, look for the Lakers to find ways to exploit James Harden’s defense with Kobe Bryant.
Of course, the focus Tuesday will be on Kobe vs. Dwight Howard. Kobe thinks Howard leaving was a positive the Lakers as a free agent was a positive. Howard is trying to prove he and Harden can lead a team to contention and that he has moved past this Lakers drama. Plus, Lakers fans still hate Howard with a white hot passion.
However, the Lakers maybe outmatched opening night. Lakers.com reporter Mike Trudell lays out the Lakers injury issues this way.
Rough way to start the season.