Locker Room Problems?

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The chaos in Los Angeles continues post-trade deadline. On Sunday February 23 the Lakers fell to the Brooklyn Nets 108-102, shortly after they snapped their franchise record 8 game home losing streak on Friday against the Boston Celtics.

With the recent departure of Steve Blake to the Warriors and the acquisition of 2nd year player Kent Bazemore and 3rd year player MarShon Brooks, the rotation for the Lakers is once again being experimented with by head coach Mike D’Antoni, and it has already begun to mess with the locker room chemistry. According to Lakers writer Dave McMenamin (@mcten on Twitter), many of the Lakers are having difficulties adjusting to the new adjustments to the rotation. Among the players to receive a DNP this last game against Brooklyn were Ryan Kelly and Robert Sacre, who have both been racking up significant minutes over the last two months.

After the game, McMenamin reported that some Lakers voiced their opinions about teammates losing playing time, and it is easy to see where they are coming from. Through all the injuries, the end of the Lakers bench has been doing its best to try and hold things together. Ryan Kelly for example went from not playing at all to starting and providing the Lakers with quality minutes, and now it seems as though he is back to not playing once again. If significant roster adjustments continue to happen, the Lakers’ team chemistry may be at risk of taking a turn for the worst.

In D’Antoni’s defense, he has to tweak the rotation by experimenting with Bazemore and Brooks in the lineup. The two have not had much time to play in Golden State, and this is their chance to showcase their talents and make improvements to their game. Although the two are only on the books until the end of the season, they are in the same boat with the rest of the Lakers in a sense that they are all auditioning for future roster spots (assuming the Lakers front office wants to keep them and assuming the players will want to stay to play for D’Antoni). As a result, some players’ playing time, such as Kendall Marshall (who did not see the floor in the 4th quarter against Brooklyn), Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre, and Chris Kaman will have to be readjusted. Honestly, with the way things have been constantly changing for the Lakers, it seems as though any Laker could possibly see a reduction in minutes in an effort to integrate Brooks and Bazemore effectively into the rotation.

Topics: Los Angeles Lakers, Playing Time, Team Chemistry

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  • Marty Susman

    There is NOT much good I can think of with this high school coach we have BUT he has managed to have these kids play a fun type of ball & they have played their hearts out even in losing. Having said that it’s true, they need to decide who they will offer another contract to & the only way to do that is to play the guys. Sure Marshall looks like a keeper, maybe Young as well if he can play a little defense along with his shooting & maybe Henry, Farmar because the truth is the Lakers need to wait till the 2015 free agency class to get back into the real game…..

  • J Taylor

    Articles like this are what fuel the rumors and media driven fires. – There needs to be some sort of “responsible reporting code” for the media.

    Everyone on the team is playing for their futures and NBA redemption. And no one like to see someone else take their job. To me, this team is akin to a college team with a bunch of inconsistent guys who need to develop and stabilize. If Mitch can keep most of these guys next year, he’s done an amazing job of making the team younger, finding young (and cheap $) talent, and building a core for a long run.

    When the season is over, let’s hope that most of this year’s squad returns to see what Lakers’ basketball is all about next year. It’s encouraging that this year’s team is missing 5 starters, and is still competitive against the league. I can only imagine when Mitch is done spending $30M and finds a full string of starters to compliment the (future) 2nd team that we’re seeing this year. – The 2013/14 season is a tryout for the next.

  • hookedonnews

    Kelly & Sacre haven’t played that great lately, especially Kelly. All the starters were on the bench during the 4th quarter against the Celtics, not just Marshall. Of course, they are going to take a look at Bazemore and Brooks. The comments that were reported to have been made in the locker room might not have even been more than ribbing or joking. Let’s not make a mountain out of a mole hill. It’s not like these guys were tearing up the league before Bazemore & Brooks arrived anyway. With Kobe probably out for the majority (if not all) of the season, there is little hope of making the playoffs. They need to evaluate players and plan for next season.

  • Daryl Peek

    There’s truth to the D-League environment that has been created by the Blake trade. There’s no way to avoid this. 6 guys are vying for two positions and Johnson is being forced to play out of position at PF against his will. Wes has said he does not like playing PF.

    I understand what D’Antoni is doing and it’s out of his hands really as the FO made this move. In a sense you can now truly say the FO has fired up the TANK.

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