Is It Time For a Lakers Youth Movement?

The Lakers need to do everything in their power to get younger in two areas, point guard and their bench.

A few years ago the Lakers featured the bench mob which consisted of a group of young players who pushed the tempo. Now the Lakers bench doesn’t run and struggles to defend in transition. Many contenders use their bench to provide energy; the Lakers should follow this blueprint by rebuilding their bench with younger more athletic players.

This will not be easy, but perhaps little used rookie Devin Ebanks can be the start of this youth movement as he seems to share some features with Ariza.

With Derek Fisher near retirement, the Lakers need to look for a suitable point guard in order to defend some of the elite floor generals in the game. Perhaps even more importantly the team needs a point guard with the ability to push the tempo.

One of the major flaws in the 2010-2011 Lakers was their non-existent fast-break offense. This became a problem as the Lakers seemingly always faced set defenses.

Even with the likes of Kobe and Gasol, playing against a set defense every possession is a major disadvantage when other teams are getting layups and dunks in transition. Phil Jackson alluded to this in his exit interview press conference.

“It’s still a good team. It needs to build speed. It needs to have some speed and they get some easy baskets as a group. I think that’s the biggest key in basketball, you have to be able to find a way to score that’s not always in a set offense, not always in the half court offense,” Jackson said.

Much of the focus will feature on a potential pursuit of Dwight Howard and deservedly so as the Lakers need to find a star for life after Kobe but the Lakers can build youth without making any drastic moves.

One thing is for certain though, with young teams such as the Thunder and the Bulls becoming elite before expected, the NBA is on the cusp of a changing of the guard. For the Lakers to avoid this they might need to make major changes but one thing is for sure, the Lakers need to install some youth to their core unit.

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