It’s more than a well known issue that the Lakers have had bench struggles for years, and it has always been up to the starting line-up to get the job done night in and night out. This trend seems to be continuing this year, and doesn’t show many signs of letting up soon. These first five games of the season have shown nothing but a letdown from the bench, again. One has to ask, is this trend a curse the Lakers carry with them and bestow upon everyone who plays a secondary role? Or is just a poor job of bench players getting the job done combined with poor rotations?
I’d like to say it is the latter, and the Lakers need to figure out how to get more production from their bench as soon as possible. We can look around the league and see the teams with winning records and notice most, if not all of them, have productive and efficient benches. I hate to compare our team to other teams in the league, but when it comes to bench play, we falter and fall behind.
Since the loss of Lamar Odom, our sixth man and premium option off the bench, the Lakers haven’t had the bench play that is needed to compete in the NBA. They’re in need of someone who can step up and take control of the bench, become the true leader, and that man is likely to be Antawn Jamison. The Lakers organization brought in Jamison to be a scorer off the bench and provide that spark they so desperately need every night. However, his 4.3 points/game isn’t going to get it done.
Many fans are eager to say Mike Brown needs to get his act together and figure out a solid rotation, but it may not be that easy. Figuring out which guys work best with other players is a difficult task, and Brown is still attempting to find the best combination. Brown had this to say regarding the benches recent struggles:
I am confident in the guys.”
As short and simple of a quote that is, it says a lot. Brown clearly thinks they can fix these early season struggles. It’s important we give him more of a chance to figure this out. If this trend continues for a while longer, then we can start to worry ourselves with finding a replacement.
Whatever the reason is for our lack of bench play, poor player performance, bad coaching, or this Laker curse, it’s time to right the ship and start sailing towards that coveted NBA championship.