Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, and Ronny Turiaf provided the Los Angeles Lakers with reserve power between the 2006 and 2010 seasons that earned them the “Bench Mob” moniker.
The Lakers’ current group of alternates seem to posses the elements that can provide reliable cached firepower.
Back-court veterans Jordan Famar and Steve Blake appear rejuvenated on both ends of the floor. The sharp-shooting Jodie Meeks should get increased three-point looks in the more classic version of Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system the Lakers are executing.
Ultimately big men Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill’s impact might prove to be most significant. Kaman is a no nonsense, fundamentally sound low post player who shot 50% from the field in 66 games last season.
The 26-year-old Hill was the difference maker in the Lakers advancing in their 2012 first-round series against the Denver Nuggets.
Bynum, Odom, and Gasol were the triad of names evoked when referring to the Lakers’ advantage over the rest of the league. Gasol, Kaman, and Hill might not sound as daunting, but no front-line in the NBA will look forward to facing them.
Almost forgotten amid the early preseason euphoria is second-round draft pick Ryan Kelly out of Duke University. The 6’11 power forward was perceived to be the “Stretch 4” that D’Antoni covets. Injuries, along with surprising play from guard Xavier Henry, will make the battle for a roster spot more competitive than originally anticipated. Through three games Henry has averaged 17 points, and displays the athleticism that compliments his ability to score.
Be they former first-rounders like Wesley Johnson and Shawne Williams, or journeymen such as Dan Gadzuric and Robert Sacre, the 2013-14 Los Angeles Lakers’ roster suddenly looks increasingly more capable.
Tags: Bench Mob Chris Kaman Dan Gadzuric Jordan Farmar Jordin Hill Kobe Kobe Bryant Lakers Lamar Odom Los Angeles Lakers NBA Nba Preseason Nick Young Pau Gasol Robert Sacre Ronny Turiaf Ryan Kelly Sasha Vujacic Steve Blake Swaggy P Xavier Henry