In the season opener victory against the Clippers, the Lakers got 76 points from the bench. It was a pleasant surprise and most didn’t expect that type of production to continue. Seven games into the season, the Lakers have the highest scoring second unit in the NBA and have clearly outplayed the starting line-up.
Averaging nearly 58 points per game, the bench has played extremely well and Jodie Meeks is currently leading the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game. At practice, head coach Mike D’Antoni commented on the bench outplaying his starter so far this season:
Mike D’Antoni comparing his bench vs. starters: “They just have played better. They’re also playing against second line guys.”
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) November 10, 2013
With Pau Gasol getting back into game shape and Steve Nash struggling with injuries, it has forced D’Antoni to go with an 11-man rotation. While it isn’t ideal, every player has produced and it has given the veterans more rest than expected. Steve Blake is currently the only player who is averaging more than 30 minutes per game for the Lakers.
Before the season, most did not expect the Lakers to get off to a 3-4 start. While the bench needs to continue playing at a high level, the starters need to do their part and play better if they want to make the playoffs. The Lakers take on the Minnesota Timberwolves and look to get back to the .500 mark.
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