The improved play of reserves Walton, Vujacic, Farmar and Turiaf has been key in the team’s success.

L.A. Times: It has been a painful process for each of them. For Luke Walton, yanked from the starting lineup. For Sasha Vujacic, yanked from the floor at the first mistake. For Jordan Farmar, yanked from the team to play in the Development League. For Ronny Turiaf, yanked from his dream life for a harrowing trip to an operating room.

Perhaps that is why this Lakers quartet has melded into such a tight, effective group off the bench, blending its talent and confidence to become, on its best nights, perhaps the league’s top second unit. Perhaps it is the sharing of hardships and disappointments that has united the players.

Or maybe it is simply their versatility. Farmar supplies the ball-handling, Vujacic the perimeter shooting, Turiaf the rebounding and inside play and Walton a little bit of everything.

While their roles sometimes tend to blur on the court, and the group, calling itself the Bench Mob, is not always on the floor together, the four are enough of a presence to cause opposing teams to realize it’s not necessarily a reason for celebration when Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Derek Fisher or even Kobe Bryant leaves the floor to take a breather.

“They play together pretty well within the team concept, even a little bit better as a team than the first unit,” coaching consultant Tex Winter said. “They rely on each other a little more. I think that’s what makes them effective.”

So does the change of pace.

Continue reading ‘Lakers rule from the bench’

  • 187 ON BOSTON

    great article exept for the $hit about fluke walton. it says he does a little bit of everything. fuk, what game did this happen in? i must of missed it. The only things i have seen him do is warm up kobe’s chair give kobe a fresh towel.and when phil’s hip is hurting and he took to much vicoden he puts fluke in and he constantly turns the ball over.

  • xxv112002
  • http://MYSPACE.COM JONASJOSEPH

    COME DOWN ON LUKE…DAMN HES PLAYIN WITHA INJURY WHICH SHOWS HIS PASSION, HE CAN SCORE WHEN HEALTHY, OFFENSIVE REBOUND AND PASS REALYY WELL, SO STOP BASHING OUR PLAYERS, AND WORRY ABOUT THE NEXT GAME

  • 187 on BOSTON

    FLUKE IS AN INJURY FOR THE LAKERS

  • http://swishtheball.net kenny smith

    [Comment ID #29246 Will Be Quoted Here]TRADE LUKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!