Too Late to Bring Ramon Sessions Off the Bench. Needs to Start Now.
With the departure of long-time Lakers point guard, Derek Fisher, to the Houston Rockets, it just felt kind of wrong to celebrate the arrival of the Lakers’ new point guard. Ramon Sessions represents the solution to the problems Laker fans have been clamoring about for the past decade and now the question of whether he starts or comes off the bench has come into play.
The speed, play-making ability, youth and did I say speed, brings hopes to the eyes of many fans. Those dreams turned into reality as Sessions came off the bench to play against the Minnesota Timberwolves for a total of 20 minutes.
With the ink on the papers barely drying and league officials approving the trade just a few hours prior to tip-off, Sessions was still able to come in and show fans what they can expect from him for at least, the remainder of the season. With 7 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists, Laker fans were happy, but with a few plays where he showed his amazing speed in the open court and ability to break down defenders in the half court sets, Laker fans were ecstatic.
Check out the Highlights:
Yesterday, Mike Brown came out and said that Steve Blake will be the starter for the time being, but the part of the interview that gets me is how he said Steve Blake might be the starter for the remainder of the season.
After weeks of trade rumors and all the drama of sending out Derek Fisher, the Lakers big move of the season was to find a backup point guard for Steve Blake?!?!
Maybe Brown is trying to protect the 26 year old point guard from all the pressure that will be placed on him?
Maybe Brown is trying to show Steve Blake that he believes in him?
Maybe Brown is testing my last nerve by messing with the rotations again?
No matter what, the point of this post was to explain why I think Ramon Sessions should be starting right now. One could argue that Steve Blake knows Brown’s system better and has experience playing with the starters. One could argue that Ramon Sessions is exactly the kind of spark the Lakers need off the bench, since they’ve done a horrible job at maintaining leads this season.
Now it’s my time to argue that the Lakers should start Sessions, so that he can get used to playing with the starters sooner than later, so when the Lakers get into the post-season where each possession counts, Brown isn’t wondering if Sessions is ready to take over Blake’s minutes.
Let’s begin to see what a true point guard can do in this system. I want to see the kind of pick and pops that Sessions and Pau can have or the Lobs that Sessions can set up for Drew or even the ability for Sessions to turn the corner on defenders when playing the P&R game with Kobe Bryant! Ramon Sessions will have to make Laker opponents do something they haven’t done in a long, long time – actually use a defender for the 1-spot instead of having him sag off to double the bigs or Kobe Bryant on the wing.
Steve Blake is a veteran and his improvement over the course of the year has been obvious. The mess with the bench production this season didn’t have much to do with a lack of scoring or playmakers, it was due to Coach Brown’s lack of consistent rotations that keep the bench players guessing and not being able to mentally prepare to come in when they were needed. Now, with rotations getting tighter and Blake manning the point guard spot for the second team, the Lakers have a better chance of maintaining the leads that the starting unit will get them.
The bottom line is that it’s obvious Ramon Sessions is the best option for the Lakers at the point guard position. To deny him the time to play with the starters will hamper our chances in the playoffs. When it’s crunch time, the Lakers need to put the best players out there on the court to give them the best chance of winning.
Coach Brown is notorious for being great at preparation, so I hope he understands that he needs to get all his players mentally prepared for the upcoming 2012 playoffs.