Los Angeles Lakers: Bench is key for a victory vs. San Antonio Spurs

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(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers bench must step up vs the San Antonio Spurs

The Los Angeles Lakers are ready for the San Antonio Spurs after the Portland Trail Blazers bench cooked them in the game’s closing moments. Portland’s backup guard Gary Trent Jr provided instant offense off the bench, microwaving the Lakers en route to 28 points, which outscored the Lakers’ entire bench by five points.

The box score carnage does not stop there. Portland’s backup center Enes Kanter out-rebounded Montrezl Harrell and the rest of the Lakers bench 14-10.

Needless to say, this is a horrible look for the Lakers bench. It is worth mentioning Lakers coach Frank Vogel played LeBron James (36 minutes) and Anthony Davis (38 minutes) as much as he would in a playoff game. The decision was especially surprising considering the Lakers were in the second game of a back-to-back and both LeBron (ankle) and AD (calf) were already banged up.

Regardless, Coach Vogel is justified in playing LeBron and AD heavy minutes. Playing time is earned, not given. Scoreboards do not care about excuses. There is no excuse or explanation for the Lakers’ uninspired effort against Portland.

Furthermore, it would be hypocritical for Laker fans to excuse the Lakers bench for their poor performance against Portland in light of Clippers’ star Paul George’s comments.

Laker fans roasted Press Conference P for stating the Clippers lost by 51 points to the Dallas Mavericks due in part to the fact they did not spend time with their families on Christmas Day. The comment was outrageous considering Dallas did not spend Christmas Day with their families either.

Enough about the Portland loss. On to the next game. Who on the Lakers bench will step up against the San Antonio Spurs? Alex Caruso will not, because he did not make the trip to San Antonio as he is out due to the league’s health and safety protocols.

Who steps up in Caruso’s absence? Each bench player has an opportunity to make a tremendous impact against the San Antonio Spurs in their two-game series, scheduled for tonight at 5:30 PM PST and on January 1 at 5:00 PM PST.

Welcome to Kevin’s Keys. Where we discuss the key player or factor for tonight’s game. Feel free to check out the comment section filled with knowledgeable fans.  

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