Lakers Odds and Ends + The Bench Needs Help

Hope your holiday’s were great- the Lakers were a mixed bag over the last few weeks. Let’s recap in no particular order:

Kobe is Amazing (also this)
Pau’s Hurt (again)
Artest Fell
The Lakers are Awesome
The Lakers Can’t Hold a Lead
Lakers Struggle Against Cavs; Laker Fans Suck

Nevermind that the mamba has been playing his best ball with an injured finger on his shooting hand.  Nevermind that he’s got 3 game-winning buzzer-beaters in a stretch of 29 days. Nevermind the injuries that are obviously hurting the team.  Lets talk about something controllable: The Bench.

Phil tried an 8-man rotation.  We had the starters of Bynum, Pau, Artest, Bryant, and Fisher.  The bench consisted of Odom, Brown, and Farmar.  Vujacic, Powell, Morrison, and MBenga were relegated to mop-up duty.  That didn’t work at all.

Now Phil is just throwing players into the game at seemingly random moments to try to find a combination, ANY combination of players who can effectively hold a lead with Kobe off the floor.

Farmar has his nights, but he’s turnover-prone and inconsistent at best.  Shannon Brown shows promise, but being an amazing dunker doesn’t do anything for us since every other area of his game has been inconsistent.  Lamar is starting to pick up, but still a failure overall for the season so far.

Vujacic has actually shown a little promise lately.  He’s not “The Machine” by any stretch, but he’s hit a few shots over the past few games.  Perhaps his random playing time actually IS helping.

Josh Powell showed an improved jump shot earlier this season only to reiterate later on that he is one of the easiest shooters to block in the NBA.  Lack of minutes is the only excuse I can come up with at this point.

Adam Morrison and DJ Mbenga are being played, but I highly doubt they’ll see any meaningful minutes unless we are absolutely forced to use them.

Which begs the question:  What the hell do we do?

My suggestion?  Farmar has played decent lately, and we’re heavy on small guards.  Perhaps we could get a combo 2/3 player who can backup Kobe when he’s out, or play the 2 when the Lakers go small and Kobe slides to the 3.  For a promising player like Farmar, there may actually be some biters out there.  Throw in Adam Morrison’s expiring contract while you’re at it.

A guy can dream, can’t he?

  • Tony fisch

    The bench just came off a 66 point game and Walton will be back soon. Hold your pants on

  • Ryan Kane

    That’s like saying Kobe just came off a 15-point game so it’s time to panic. One game doesn’t make up for an entire season of playing a different way.

    And Walton coming back isn’t going to help/save the bench. The bench needs to find a way to score, not make pretty passes that wind up in missed field goals.

  • S Dot

    Bill Simmons suggested moving both of those guys and cash for Jose Calderon. Good open jump shooter, heady player, extremely close w/ Pau. Thoughts?

  • Ryan Kane

    That’s a different deal than I’m looking for, but I’d still take it- he’s a rock solid free throw shooter and could score more if he was on a team with a scoring role. Shannon Brown would be left as the backup 2 for Kobe (splitting time with Sasha, I hate to admit). That would make Calderon the primary guy in line for Derek Fishers job. If we move Farmar for him, I’m perfectly fine with that.

    One thing we have to watch, though, is how small our roster is getting. We can’t handle many injuries as is, and a 2-for-1 trade would only make that worse.

    While Adam Morrison isn’t someone I’d like in the rotation, at least he’s a warm body with a decent skill set to throw in with some higher-caliber players when we need a man in there.

    I’m conflicted, if you can’t tell.

    How cool would it be to have Kobe, Calderon, Pau, and Sasha on the floor at the same time. They could all speak spanish to one another (Kobe and Sasha are both fluent).

    Tell Ron Ron to just lock down some defender and let the rest of the team openly talk to each other in Spanish during the game.

  • S Dot

    Muy bien idea amigo pero nuestro amigo Loco Ron may LOSE his mind haha…

    I hear ya on the roster getting smaller, but remember we have Pau Andrew and Ron Ron locked in in the frontcourt for the foreseeable future. We clearly need to add some depth behind them in the case we lose Mr. Kardashian, but it isn’t tough to convince backups or former all stars to come to LA for cheap (imagine a guy like Jamison or .

    Plus, Calderon is a great triangle fit and long-term solution to Fish as you mentioned.

    Think about the bball iq on the floor between Kobe, Pau and Calderon for 30+ minutes a game starting next year.