3 Lakers who must be benched if LA is going to make the playoffs

Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks / Al Bello/GettyImages
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The Los Angeles Lakers are once again fighting tooth and nail just to get to the NBA Playoffs this season. Viewed as one of the premier title contenders in the league heading into the season, the Lakers seem to have a date with the Play-In Tournament for the third time in the last four years.

That obviously is not where the Lakers want to be and if the team is going to make the top six in the West then it needs to start racking up the wins now. The Lakers are running out of time and if this ship is going to turn around it needs to happen quickly.

For that to happen, head coach Darvin Ham needs to make adjustments and start playing his best players. Right now the Lakers don't have the luxury of doing that because of injuries but once the team is healthy, there are several players that simply need to be benched.

Lakers need to bench Jaxson Hayes

Jaxson Hayes has done an okay job at filling in as the team's only true center right now with Christian Wood injured but he still has not lived up to expectations. Lakers fans thought they were going to get a young, athletic rim protector out of Hayes and instead he has just reminded everyone why he was a minimum signing after four years to begin with.

Hayes hardly plays when the rotation is at full strength and that is for a reason. Once Wood returns, even with his bad defense, the Lakers have to give him the playing time that Hayes is getting and sit the young man down.

Maybe he can play in a playoff series just to rough up Nikola Jokic and pick up a foul or two, but that is about the extent of his contributions. The Lakers have had a net rating five points worse when Hayes is on the floor, which proves that he isn't someone who should be playing with the season on the line.

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