It was the start of the 4th quarter when Kobe Bryant hopped up from his seat on the bench like a fan in the stands, spinning a towel in his right hand as he encouraged his teammates on the floor, “Keep it going, Jordie!” he yelled, “Keep it going!”

The starters sat and the Laker reserves upped the lead until the buzzer sounded for a 21-point victory.

The second unit closed out in runaway train-like domination. That bench mob, Phil’s beloved “minutemen” (so called back then by Coach Phil for the speed and immediate impact they brought into the game) were the talk of the NBA.

The opposing team was the San Antonio Spurs. The date was May 2008.

In a film documentary that centered around Lakers leader, Kobe Bryant, what stood out most during a breakfast viewing of ‘Kobe Doin’ Work’ on Christmas morning was not the Mamba’s thought process during the course of a game. It was the disparity between that season’s bench play then and their play now.

“BenchMob 2008″ had a fire in them, an unmistakable enthusiasm each time they hit the hardwood, a mission per minute to make their team greater, a powerhouse that no other in the league could match. They extended leads, made garbage time a great time and they played proudly. BenchMob 2009 has as much talent, if not more, and more experience than their former selves, but where is the nightly enthusiasm? Where is the pride? Where is the fire?

On a team with a disgusting amount of talent and experience, not to mention exemplary coaching, the only two factors that will be cited should the Lakers fail to repeat as Champions are…

1) A complacent and/or arrogant attitude
2) Bench contribution

The goal is the avoidance of the former and the consistency and efficiency of the latter.

Based solely on this season, there is only one player on the squad who deserves to be arrogant, but Kobe Bryant is out there at every game, regardless of the elbow he couldn’t feel, regardless of the shooting hand with only four good fingers, regardless of how often he is expected to save the team. There is no arrogance there, just an impenetrable will to win. If only his teammates had the same passionate desire (Ron Artest is pardoned too. He is 180 degrees from the player years ago, whose awful reputation preceded him. He’s actually playing with as much soul as Kobe).

The Lakers of late appear confounded and listless, the starters and reserves (especially reserves) alike.

When was the last time Pau Gasol had five rebounds in an entire game as he had against Phoenix? FIVE. Derek Fisher seems to be taking a lot of cheap shots lately, first at Caveliers’ Mo Williams and then Suns’ Steve Nash. What happened to his composure?

Lamar Odom, whose production is a question mark from game to game.

Andrew Bynum… where to begin?

And the Lakers bench, given chance upon chance to provide a positive impact on games, when the starters are either tired or just plain failing, can’t seem to get themselves in order and shoulder the load.

So they beat the young Sacramento Kings this past weekend, and Shannon Brown came off the bench with a solid 15-point, 7-rebound effort. It just doesn’t happen often enough. It shouldn’t be a welcome surprise when he has a game like that. It should be the usual.

In the loss to Phoenix, down by 16 points in the fourth quarter, the Lakers got a stop and headlong into a fast break, Adam Morrison decided to attempt a behind the back pass between two defenders, leading to a turnover. D.J. Mbenga, lucky to be getting time on the floor, stood motionless as Phoenix grabbed for rebounds around and above him. After Jordan Farmar hit a 3-pointer in the 4th quarter, he yelled, “Come on!” to encourage his teammates on the floor, which was only followed by a wide open 3-pointer from Phoenix on the other end. The opposing reserves on the floor lately have been quicker, prouder and altogether more focused.

Improved and effective bench contribution appeared in the horizon. After all, it was still early in the season, and there were valid arguments as to why the reserves struggled to attain efficient performances each night. Sadly, we are one-third into the season and those arguments are exactly that – arguments, meant to be analyzed to death by either fans who are fighting to be optimistic or haters who want nothing more than to exploit what used to be a strength and now appears to be a weakness. These string of “Let Kobe Save the Day” type of games will not bring another banner home. These so-called arguments, at this point in the season, are nothing but excuses now.

The inconsistent rotations due to the scatter of injuries earlier this season did cause an irregular distribution of minutes, especially for the second unit, but the Lakers have boasted a deep team for the last few seasons.

Isn’t the mark of a deep team their ability to withstand and play through setbacks like injuries? Why should the uneven minute distribution matter if you have the personnel to compensate? When Gasol returned, the rotations turned airtight – eight out of thirteen players were guaranteed floor time for each game and the remaining players were constantly “on-call.”

Is It so awfully difficult to check into a game, even after having sat for 36 minutes of it, and be expected, at the very least, to play with maximum effort and common sense? Getting the opportunity to play, especially when you receive so little of it, should make every reserve play with the same purpose and intensity as their teammates who played in the game before them, garbage time or not.

A 25-point lead with 6:00 minutes left in the game should fuel the desire for a 30, perhaps 40 point victory, not the need for the starters to check back in to fix what was damaged.

The worst excuse out there is that the Lakers are too talented. Having one of the most talented rosters in the league should be a positive, an opportunity not to just be good, but to be the best; and not because they CAN, but because they ARE.

So the best player on the planet is your captain… so you have a veteran clutch leader to speak inspiring words at the right time… so one of the best big men in the league just signed up for another three years… so you have one of the most versatile (and most difficult to guard) forwards as the heart of your team… so you have one of the best defensive specialists keeping watch… SO WHAT? Shouldn’t having all these weapons in the arsenal make the young (this means you too, Andrew Bynum!), and very able reserves, want to be part of the greatness instead of the spotty and mediocre (if that)?

Maybe what will always be known as the “Christmas Day of Embarrassment” had to happen. Maybe the team, as a whole, needed another vs. Boston, Game 6-like experience to re-fuel their fire and the bench needed to see that without their help, that back-to-back Championship is as good as gone. When the starters are struggling or worse, if they’re hurting, and Phil heeds players off the pine, when will the bench answer the call to change the game and take it upon themselves to carry the team to a victory? How much longer do we have to wait?

  • Laker4 Life

    The Lakers bench is a “joke.” Every game the bench puts on a mediocre performance. The Lakers won’t win a title if the bench does not step up their game. They rely on KB to take over the game.

    • Mister Dunkonya

      The onus does not fall soley upon the bench. Only 3 of our starters are actually producing at a fairly high level-Bryant(has heart, skills and a desire to win) Gasol (has to motivated by others in order to play well but has a great skillset) Artest (can create his own shot and for others too-but his defensive intensity kinda makes up for Bynum not controlling the paint and where is Derek Fisher this year?) Perhaps Phil should try to create two starting lineups instead of a bench) for example….1.Farmer 2. Bryant 3. Artest 4. Gasol 5. Mbenga…bench 1. Fisher 2. Brown 3. Odom 4. Powell 5. Bynum. shake it up Phil if our bench is weak…work around it..let’s get some consistency

    • blogaholic

      Agree with you. But it isn’t just the bench. This team has no enthusiasm, heart or DEFENSE. Bynum is almost worthless and the only person who can shoot outside is Kobe. Love the Lakers, but at this point, this team reminds me of the disastrous Dream Team (remember them?

      And it’s not like Phil Jackson is exactly the guy to generate the emotional energy needed to get these guys to get off of their cans. He just keeps saying it a long season, and ho hum. I guess he doesn’t think that the work ethic exhibited during the year has anything to do with the playoffs. I went to the Cleveland game. What a joke. They haven’t really beaten anyone other than B teams on the road. What bothers me is they don’t seem to care.

      • Joselio Nimasaja Anicar Tado says:

        u talkin bout the disasterous team they were in 04-05

  • gugy

    Bench mob has been sucks lately.

    All of them except Lamar, Shannon and DJ can be trade in my opinion.
    Sasha is the worst of them all due his salary, Luke comes in second for the same reason and for always been injured. What a joke.
    Mitch please look into trade these scrubs.

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      The talent and ability are there. It’s just…where is the continuous effort and smart decision making?!

      • Hi, Sasha here and I suck

        Gone

        Hence the reason why some of these guys need to go..

    • Joselio Nimasaja Anicar Tado says:

      The difference between the horrible bench the lakers have this year, and the legit bench the lakers had last year, is luke walton

  • 09champs!

    Its not even your money, so stop saying that Sasha is the worst for his salary and Luke also, have you forgotten Luke´s between the legs bounds pass to a cutting farmar for the layup? I agree Luke isnt the answer to our bench stuggles but he can certanly help.
    Sasha hasnt been that bad as of late, and I like Jordan´s spirit even though his game has taken a fall.

    This was so funny to watch man: In the loss to Phoenix, down by 16 points in the fourth quarter, the Lakers got a stop and headlong into a fast break, Adam Morrison decided to attempt a behind the back pass between two defenders, leading to a turnover. hahahah when i saw it, even though i was frustrated by the way they were playing, i couldnt contain a laugh watching that ..

    I look for the lakers to bounce back tonight with Ron returning to the lineup with his D- mentality..

    • gugy

      Is not my money but the cash could be use to sign better players.
      While I do expect the Lakers to bounce back, Sasha has been horrible for almost 2 years and Morrison doesn’t seem that into play basketball.
      Luke even though can be helpful is always injured. These 3 guys are sucking too much money to produce too little.

  • LC09

    soooo anna ur sayin we wont win da ship this yr??? well ur wrong..wheres ur hope?? u dont believe in this team?? we fu kin injured right now.. once we get everyone healthy n da rotation is set we’ll b fine..n yes we WILL win back to back baby

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      I didn’t say we weren’t going to win this year. I said it’s going to be hard to win it if Kobe is a one man savior every night. I have a lot of hope and faith in this team, and that’s why it’s so disappointing to watch them lose the way they have been knowing that they can pound on everyone because they’ve done it before. I’m hoping this is just a slump.

      • LC09

        aww but still sayin gone as gone u know..lol..but exactly its a slump..by playoff time we’ll b ready n good..only playoffs matter

      • LakersAllTheWay

        Anna you know more basketball than most of the peons on this site. A well written article. You will always have people that will take your article and not understand it.

  • Robert

    Bench Mob has turned into Stench Slobs. Just a few points: Ariza was not only a starter, but part of the bench too (part of last year). Phil has acknowledged that the Lakers are a slower team this year (1/2 court). It is more difficult for them to win 1/2 court this year. Last year they were faster. Ariza was (and is) one of the fastest players in the NBA. Artest’s D is much better than Ariza’s, but he’s a bit slower. However, his offense is superior (he can make his own plays). So, we traded speed for D – the speed was intimidating, and let to turnovers and good fast break offense. D is always good in playoffs, so it will payoff eventually.
    However, for now … it seems as though the Lakers need every player available to be ‘tight’. Ron-Ron was out, and Luke is out too. When the Lakers are fully staffed, we will see how well they do. If they return to form, then Phil (and Kup) will stay the course. If not, I suspect there will be some moves (either additions, or subtractions) by Feb. I think Kup wants to wait for the class of 2010 free agents this summer – there will be some desperate players who won’t get signed with what they want ($), and may opt instead to play with Champions or Championship bound teams like the Lakers. That’s why I think he probably won’t make any trades this year – it is much more cost effective to let contracts expire.
    Anyway, these are just thoughts and observations.
    But it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Stench Slobs are not the same as they have been in the past. Too bad. It was an important part of the Lakers’ victory last year, and title run the previous year.

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Thanks a lot for mentioning Ariza, Robert. I think I just felt myself frown.

      • Robert

        Sorry, Anna. Yeah, I guess we can’t have everything. Hopefully this is just the worst part of the Laker season, and it will get better.

  • kwame4mvp

    Maybe Luke means more to that bench than we give credit.

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Luke’s one of the more dependable guys on the bench. I don’t know why everyone’s so down on him all the time. Like I said before, he may never be an all-star, but he knows the system WELL and he’s sometimes the best decision maker on the floor when he’s there.

      • LakersAllTheWay

        Yes Anna you are so right but half the guys here posting are ignoramous when it comes to see the value of role players. Luke is valuable in this system and will help us when he gets back.

  • xtro

    time for another trade mitch. do it.

    • Jdawhindahood

      a shut up with the trade talk! I’d rather have better chemistry then waiting for a long time to get used to the system

      • LakersMike31

        I think a trade would be a good thing. The bench needs to be shaken up. They’ve sucked all year. Jordan, especially, has been horrible for a couple of years, now. I think he plateaued a long time ago. Same with Sasha. We’ve his best already…he ain’t getting any better. And DJ is a joke. He is simply comic relief when the Lakers are up big. He serves no other purpose. I think the Laker bench is GLARING weakness. These guys got no heart, at all. And neither does Drew for that matter. I say get rid of him, too. He’s had “potential” for how long now? He’ll forever be a mediocre player. Watch him play…NO HEART.

        • Joselio Nimasaja Anicar Tado says:

          if u think DJ is a joke, he’s not, the lakers need him for his six fouls, if a better defensive 7-footer is offered in a trade for DJ Mbenga, then lets do it, but for now, we need DJ’s 6 fouls

    • Robert

      What I would do (if Kupchak, + if Buss had $ to do this) is to NOT trade, but to add 1 or 2 players. Then, let the players fight for position, or allow Phil to experiment. Then, let contracts expire at end of year, and make a decision in summer. February trades are good if there are injuries (e.g., Bynum 2 years ago, which led to our getting Gasol). But if we want to keep our system ‘mostly’ intact, it wouldn’t hurt (except $) to add 1 or 2 players instead, since we have 2 roster spots open.

      • Joselio Nimasaja Anicar Tado says:

        Stromile swift and/or Darius miles should be signed
        Lorenzen Wright can also be a possibility, he’s gettin old but he is an easy pick up since no teams want him

  • http://vinginor@aol.com onlyone laker fan in L.A.

    Trade Farmar for Nate Robinson.
    Sasha and Morrisson for who ever will take them .
    The valet at staples maybe.
    Larmar and Bynum need to step up .We will be ok if they play with some effort. Mobenga plays harder than Bynum for alot less money.
    These guys la mar and drew would be working at the car wash if it was not for jerry buss.Two of the dumbest guys you will ever meet.

  • Abs

    Yeah the bench is inconsistent so what’s new. We’re still playing well. My main worry is Bynum not concentrating on rebounding and playing D after having sacrificed a lot of touches.

    Why would anyone think Nate Robinson would be a good addition? If Mike D’Antoni’s had enough of him even with his offensive skills thats saying something.

    • Joselio Nimasaja Anicar Tado says:

      Andrew is prolbably tryin 2 impress his girlfriend on the offensive end so he’s usin less energy on Defense

  • Laker4 Life

    The Lakers bench is a mess right now. If they don’t step up mitch should trade the whole stench slobs and get players that play hard. Everytime the bench plays the Lakers get blown out.

  • Bynum the Dumb

    Bynumb is a F@CKIN asswipe, lazy, dumb, douchebag who stopped playin hard after he got his 50M. And this piece of sh!t wants to be an all-star?? This dumba$$ who has a rock for a brain does NOT hustle, defend, rebound, box out. I was laughing last night when Bynumb was guarding and staring at Stoudemire at the baseline. Stoudemire dribbles to the right past Bynumb and dunks. When Stoudemire dribbled by, Bynumb was still staring at blank space for a whole 1-2 seconds as if Stoudemire was still there. Bynumb the MoFo just waits for the ball to fall to him and depends on others to rebound. Why da F@CK didn’t you go box out and help grab the rebound when Pau blocked the shot!?! It’s so obvious now that he just shows up to clock in and clock out. Radio sport casters see it as well as many Laker fans (except blind Kwame-Smush bangers like Big Sal). Trade Bynumb and some of the Lakers bench (Farmar, Sasha, AM, Luke) for Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich. Lakers need players with heart and determination.

    • LakersMike31

      Dude, I like Bynum and Sasha/Farmar for Noah and Hinrich. That would be sweet. I don’t know any numbers in this situation, but that would definately put us over the top. Noah plays as hard as any player in the league.

      • ab4sure

        Bulls would do that in a heartbeat. Thankfully Mitch is smart enough not to. The guy above you who I call numbnuts doesn’t know the game. He really knows how to change his name alot though.

        • LakersMike31

          OK, here’s my take: I’m just frustrated with Drew. He’s got a nice game, but he’s yet to display any real passion. Perhaps there aren’t enough touches on the block with Kobe and Pau on the floor, so the Lakers need a tough, physical, energizer-bunny type player who will do all the dirty work. I’m talking about the kinda guy who will get you 15 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 charges taken, and 8 points on 3 shots. That kinda player would be PERFECT to play next to Pau. And that player is Joakim Noah.

        • Smush Walton

          Speaking of changing names, you should change your’s from “ab4sure” to “ahole4sure” buddy.

    • Bynum = Farmar = Sasha = Crap

      I agree 100%! Bynum-nuts is a big loser! Mostly because he has no heart for the game. He got his money and now plays with no passion. Put Kobe’s brain in Bynum’s body and you have no doubt, the GOAT.

      I know what you’re talking about as he (and a lot of other Lakers) watch the ball bounce around and don’t hustle to get the rebound. That is fricking inexcusable.

      Noah may not be as talented but definitely plays hard every possession. Hinrich would be awesome! Package up Bynum and some other losers. Make the trade Mitch!

  • JFK-analysis-at-TLN

    ever since Pau came back Bynum’s production has been going down.. he gets less touches and so he is less active…. we need to feed him more, especially with the second unit….. and Bynum needs to play regardless what the situation is,,,,, his offense is leading to his defense… it should be the other way around..

    and (outside of Shannon) do we have a bench? Vujabrick, morrison, and anyone else- ship them out and get a guy who can make a difference… lol i like Vujabrik because he was once good, he is a confused soul- no brains- all heart…

  • Robert

    Here’s what should be done: Have only the starters play the triangle – it is built for superstars like Kobe and MJ anyway, and not for role players. And let the SS (Stench Slobs) run rampant when they sub in. Let someone try their hand at point guard (the triangle does not need or require true point guards). Besides, the triangle is too complex for pea-brains.

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Funny you should say that because when Farmar was playing well, it was because Phil let him do his thing when he came in, along with the other reserves. Run and gun like a true PG. Hence the minutemen title to that bench in 2008, which also included Sasha, incidentally.

    • Joselio Nimasaja Anicar Tado says:

      the triangle is meant for players who can pass well, so of Fish, Farmar, Kobe, Lamar, Luke, Gasol, maybe even J-Peezy, if 5 of those guys are in the game, run the triangle

      if its a different lineup, go transition, or maybe penetrate and kick, or pass and screen away, isolation, pick n roll offense, there are lots of different offenses that could be ran

  • LAtimes

    If Bynum played like NOAH…damn we’d be good…

    • LakersMike31

      Yes. Bynum for Noah…git ‘er done! Imagine a team w/ Kobe, Artest and Noah on the floor. Hustle hustle hustle. We’d never get outworked again!

      • daboss1848

        if ur goal is hustle, y not just bring madsen in . . . u get hustle, keep bynum and avoid the noah headache.

        • LakersMike31

          Because Noah is hustle, PLUS talent. Noah is provides a physical presense that Bynum does not, even though Bynum outweighs Noah by what, 30-40 pounds? Bynum is a joke. Look, I love the Lakers, but I won’t blindly support just anyone wearing a Lakers jersey. If they aren’t worthy, they aren’t worthy. And Bynum ain’t worthy.

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Let’s not get crazy. Bynum is a much more skilled player than Noah is. He just seems to get discouraged too quickly and too long when he hasn’t had a good game. If Bynum could just get the focus he had when he came back this season, the foul trouble would disappear and he’d be back to dominating mode.

      • ab4sure

        Glad we have a smart girl around to knock some sense into some of these ignorant wimpy guys here. Don’t be fooled by the posts here. Many times it is one or two people here changing their names every time they post. I call them losers.

        • LakersMike31

          For the record, if you’re referring to me, this is the one and only name I’ve used here, and I’m a Laker fan through and through. But I’ve got a big problem with Drew’s lack of effort, as does a growing contingent of Laker fans. Being a Laker fan doesn’t mean mindlessly supporting all that wear the purple and gold. Being a true Laker fan means always wanting what’s best for the team, even if it means lobbying for the trade of a current player.

        • Smush Walton

          Anything you say – ahole4sure.

          • B Holland

            Someone got punked in the past. LOL

      • LakersMike31

        Maybe he’s more skilled than Noah on offense…but NOT defense. Noah is the much better defensive player, and is a better rebounder. And you hit the nail on the head Anna Gonda…Drew doesn’t focus. He has all the necessary tools, but he can’t seem to put it together. I remember another guy with the same problem, and his name was Kwame Brown. Now, I admit Drew is WAY better than Kwame, but I can’t help but think that Drew is going to be a career under-achiever. By the way, Drew has NEVER dominated at any point in his career. He’s had a few good games, and has even strung together some nice streaks, but he has yet to show any sort of dominance for an extended period of time. At present, he is grossly over-hyped.

        • B Holland

          Noah has actually had much more basketball experience. Bynum still hasn’t gotten the minutes or experience as most his age. It is also harder to get that if you are on a championship team.

    • Robert

      yeah, the bulls would never give up Noah, but it would have been nice to have someone like him on the Lakers. He would bust a cap in LeJerk’s a$$ for dancing around. (LePuff was lucky he didn’t dance at the Lakers game the other day – the fans would have pelted him with marshmallow treats.)

      • BigSAL

        U crazy if you would pick Noah over Bynum.

        • Robert

          wouldn’t pick Noah over Bynum, but it would be interesting to have Noah on the team in addition to Bynum.
          (also — UCLA basketball is my team- still bitter about Florida’s win over UCLA in NCAA final years ago; I think he played when Farmar was with UCLA)

  • drive-for-16th

    if, but, maybe, hope, these are just words that we are depending on too much, u can’t just hope our bench will do good, u can’t make excuses for Bynum to be efficient, the guy wants to be an all star but he has tooo much to learn still. We had one good year from the bench, and that year everyone said the lakers bench has the potential to be its own team. That was it, that year we lost in the finals after that those assholes haven’t showed up to play one day, Vujacic was soo good because he wanted a contract which he got. We had ronny turiaf, a guy who played hard and gave us really good production. we have odom now, hes going down every year, and now he has a ring, hes a little more relaxed, to win a ring u have to have Kobe’s mentality, not people who get happy winning once. Pau doesn’t have Kobe’s mentality, no one in the league has the type of mentality he has. If all of our players just play half as hard as Kobe, then championships are far away. WE NEED TO GET RID OF SOME PLAYERS. i saw bynum in the forth quarter laughing around on the bench when we were down 20, and kobe looked pissed of sitting on the bench , bynum shows no passion at all. Its like they dont care. Phil said it after the sacremento game that Kobes buin pissed of lately at Odom the most, cause when he hurt his elbow, no one stepped up and he got into odoms face and odom said “i didn’t know u were hurt”

  • drive-for-16th

    championships AREN’T far away.

  • http://vinginor@aol.com onlyone laker fan in L.A.

    bydumb 7 foot pussy no heart 22 yrs old 7 ft plays weak.

  • drive-for-16th

    lamar odom has no fuckin hops, and he settles from jumpers 90% of the time, and he gets owned in the paint he needs to hops so he can dunk the ball inside he goes up too lazy. hes tall as Amare stoudemire.

  • Smush Walton

    Very sloppy start against the Warriors. Outside of Kobe and Pau there’s not much. Fisher really sucks lately. He should just stay out of the paint – he is awful in there. He has about a 6 inch vertical leap and he couldn’t make a layup if his life depended on it.

    • Anthony

      Don’t you love it when Fish goes up for a layup and you’re thinking to yourself “blocked” and time after time it’s BLOCKED! He needs to pick his spots for sure.

      I agree with most of what Anna says here. You talked about arrogance and that is the one thing that seems to be the root of all our Lakers problems. The bench thinks much too high of itself and need to play much much harder than they currently are now. I understand it, but there should be no room for that on this Lakers squad. These guys need to get dirty and hustle for everything. It doesn’t matter if they’re up by 3 points or 30.

      Let’s hope everyone on this team can learn that and not only the select few who are playing poorly.

      As much as we all hate to admit it those guys in green almost always come out hustling.

      • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

        Now that you mention those guys in green…we kind of owe them don’t we? for losing as much as they have so we can have the best record in the league. haha!

        Seriously, it’s focus. Look what happened today against the Warriors. Sasha and Jordan, given the chance (again) to step up in the last quarter, played well. The reserves need to realize that at the very least, they have to come into the game without wondering how many points they’re going to score, but wonder how they’re going to get this team the win. If you’re not getting good looks, there is so much more to contribute other than scoring – play defense, rebound, BE ATTENTIVE and make plays.

        The bench are not just some random bunch of guys. Mitch obviously saw something in them. I just wish they played with a purpose each time they hit the floor. Hopefully the momentum from the 71-point 2nd half tonight carries into the new year.

        • Smush Walton

          These bench guys played the best when they HAD a purpose… when their contract was about to be up and they wanted another one. Once they got their new contract they lost all motivation and interest. Every one of them: Sasha, Luke, Bynumb, Ladunce…

      • Smush Walton

        I agree – Fartmore and Bynumb are arrogant. Good description.

  • lakerbunny

    TRADE VUJASLIT TO THE SPARKS FOR A PLAYER WITH NADS THAT CAN SHOOT (IN GAMES) GAMES? GAMES? WE’RE TALKING ABOUT GAMES? NOT THE PRACTICE I LOVE, BUT GAMES?

  • junaid

    I am very dissapointed in the team.. Except for Kobe and Artest noone is playing with any motivation.. Kobe is carrying us right now.. The Lakers need to start playing Defense.. And everyone on the bench except lamar,shannon and Dj needs to get traded… Put a defense team around kobe and championships are guarteed. Kobe is an offensive GOD just have the team play D…

  • ryanperry36

    Talking about the bench sure is getting far too old. Why are you idiots saying these negative comments about Pau Gasol?? He is by far the most consistent player we have. Yes, even more consistent than the great KOBE. Now I didnt say he was better, so dont go off just yet. Kobe is the true leader of this basketball team, and with the injuries he is able to play with, and still do it at a high level says a lot. Kobe or Gasol get no complaints from me. Gasol has a couple of bad games and people go off on him. You know what I think?

    I would MUCH rather have a couple of bad games than a couple of good games… aka bynum. This kid has a lot to learn. He has potential, he is still very young. I see him playing with a huge lack of confidence. If he can play with confidence, he will be the player we all hope for him to be. As for the bench? Farmar is inconsistent as ever, Brown is a great addition to our team because he seems to play with a lot of energy every time hes out there. Lamar Odom is a complete joke, maybe he belongs in the starting line up and we get fisher on the bench, a true leader. The bench needs a leader when they are on. They need more motivation and need to come out with much more energy then they have been coming out with. They need to play smart basketball, not desperation basketball. Why showboat when you are down 20 points? or TRY to showboat and make your self look STUPID. I wouldnt mind if morrison saw NO minutes from this point forward on our team. I agree with letting farmar do his own thing, and about the bench playing the triangle, maybe it IS too complex for them to handle.

    Artest, is great, far more than we could have hoped for. He has not lived up to the hype of the media as far as the negative things they were all saying would happen if he came to the lakers.

    HERE IS WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN:

    ship sasha vujacic out, as well as morrison. A healthy Walton will compliment Farmar. Odom STEP UP YOUR GAME. I understand why we need him on the bench, but he is not doing us any favors by his serious lack of effort. Brown, continue doing what you do, but try to perfect your game. Fisher, take it easy on your body till we near the end of the regular season, then come out with consistency and accuracy along with energy. Artest, dont miss so many shots so often. Bynum, play with CONFIDENCE!! If this happens, and only IF, we will be the most dominant NBA team that has played in the league for a while.

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Ah! You hit the nail with something! I think Farmar misses Walton AND Ariza on the floor, two teammates who seemed to be completely in sync with him. But this Farmar-Brown thing is something I love – quickness, energy, young. And he’s always looking for teammates too. Sasha and Morrison can hit their shots. One made shot in a game seems to be a good confidence booster in general. It’s all mental with these young guys! You’re on a championship team – NOW PLAY LIKE IT!

  • King Marley

    “i dont wanna wait in vain for your love….”

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      HAHAHAHAHA!

  • highflyer

    i think we shud bench bynum n start odom… hes been doing better when he starts

    • http://thelakersnation.com/blog/category/original-articles/benchmob-beat/ Anna Gonda

      Funny you should suggest that because Mason and Ireland asked Bruce Bowen before Tuesday’s game about a wall that Bynum seems to have hit and he said something interesting – that Bynum is so young and he came into the league not having any experience playing at such a high level (because he skipped college ball) and he doesn’t have a lot of experience to fall back on when things like this happen. It’s all psychological with him. When the season began, he was determined to make up for not having played well when he was injured, and he tore it up! Now he has to get used to playing with Pau Gasol, who Bynum should see as someone who’s going to help him be productive, not someone who is trying to take his place. Gasol is ALWAYS looking for his teammates and Bynum needs to get accustomed to playing with him. Take advantage young, one. You’ve got the best big man passer and playmaker in the league!

  • ryanperry36

    Did you ever think odom is playing better while starting because maybe he would RATHER START?? I get discouraged watching odom play when hes playing like a joke off the bench. The way he plays as a starter is how he NEEDS to play and SHOULD play on the bench. He needs to come out with energy and effort and heart in every game, whether he is coming off the bench or starting.

  • highflyer

    i wish lakers would have drafted Dejaun Blair, he got drafted like 40th by San Antonio, when we had the 30th and could’ve drafted him.. he would’ve been a great addition. i see him playing and im surprised how mitch didnt get him.

  • http://myspace.com/taeyongpark Day

    We traded our Chinese lucky charm, yea that’s right, I said it. Sun Yue was our everything !

  • http://lil_jay78.blogspot.com/ j

    Great article and love the comments so far, but let’s make sure we are all still aware that even with the struggling bench, the Lakers are still the top team in the league..that doesn’t happen by accident. Sure, it was a home-heavy schedule against mediocre teams, but if the playoffs were to start today, they’d be #1.

    Now, how they’d fare, would be another question…this bench truly needs games like they had last night against the Mavs…but DEFENSE is the key for the entire team. Fighting back from 20-down is no way to establish yourself as a defensive power. It’s heart and hustle.

    Here’s to hopin they turn things around and dominate!