Lakers New Found Depth Breeds A New Team Identity
Photo Courtesy Of ESPN.com
Photo Courtesy Of ESPN.com

When Dwight Howard deciding to leave the Lakers for Houston, Plan B was in full effect and management executed their contingency plan.

The Lakers amnestied Metta World Peace, acquired a few players who took less money to play for the purple and gold, and then picked up some more players prior to training camp who unexpectedly made the final roster and have even become major contributors thus far.

Wesley Johnson, Chris Kaman, and Nick Young passed over more lucrative offers to come here. An improved and grown-up Jordan Farmar opted out of his overseas contract to rejoin the Lakers. Shawne Williams and Xavier Henry went from being unknown to most Lakers fans just a month ago to becoming rotation players and Jodie Meeks improved his game significantly from last season.

Yes, the Lakers may have lost the most coveted center in the league, but Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss have transformed this team into a young, three-point shooting (39.4 percent so far), deep team.

As of right now, 11 players are averaging more 14 or more minutes per game — with Jordan Hill averaging the least.

Add in Kobe Bryant, and the team’s number of potential regulars rises to 12.

Here’s a look at the team’s depth chart in traditional terms of point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards, and centers:

Point Guards

Shooting Guards

Small Forwards

Power Forwards

Centers

Steve Nash

Kobe Bryant (Injured)

Pau Gasol

Steve Blake

Xavier Henry

Chris Kaman

Jordan Farmar

Jodie Meeks

Wesley Johnson

Nick Young

Jordan Hill

Shawne Williams

(For the purposes of this chart, we’ll exclude players who haven’t seen much playing time and likely won’t in the near future.)

However, the team plays a versatile style of basketball where traditional positions aren’t always defined and many players often switch and play two or more positions, as you can see in the above chart. Here’s a look at the depth chart in more ambiguous terms:

Point Guards

G-Fs/Wings

Stretch Fours

Forward-Centers

Steve Nash

Kobe Bryant (Injured)

Shawne Williams

Pau Gasol

Steve Blake

Xavier Henry

Wesley Johnson

Chris Kaman

Jordan Farmar

Nick Young

Jordan Hill

Jodie Meeks

Even with this more ambiguous chart, it’s still hard to define certain positions in Mike D’Antoni’s system. For example, although Steve Blake is a point guard, he’s currently starting as the team’s off-guard. Additionally, Wes Johnson is more traditionally considered a small forward or wing player, but will often be asked to fill the role of stretch four for this team.

Nonetheless, you have Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all capable of directing the offense. Then there is Pau Gasol doing his thing down low and in the high post along with Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill. There are a couple of designated stretch fours, with scorers, shooters, and athletes on the wings.

Essentially, the Lakers have a lot of players who are capable of producing on any given night. This doesn’t always translate into wins, however, and many of the players are unproven.

Unproven doesn’t necessarily mean good or bad, but does indicate that consistency may be an issue at first, often times when on the road or in crunch situations. However, it also means that these players may be playing with a chip on their respective shoulders and will hopefully add an edge to the team — especially given the fact that most of the players have contracts that expire at the end of the season.

Each member genuinely seems to want their teammates to succeed, and for the team to succeed as a whole. There’s a nice mixture of personality, age, and talent, which makes this team intriguing.

There are changes that need to be made in terms of  finding playing time for certain players, or even shortening the rotation at some point, but the abundance of capable players is a good problem to have. Similarly, when Kobe returns, I’m sure the rotation won’t be extended to 12 and could even drop to as low as nine as the distribution of minutes might not be quite as equal as it is now. As of now, Steve Blake is currently averaging the most minutes at 29.5.

There doesn’t seem to be any discontent regarding playing time just yet, though, perhaps because no one is being left out of the rotation and adding minutes to one player could result in a “DNP – CD” for another. (Following Sunday’s game, Chris Kaman did say that he wants more minutes — alongside Pau Gasol, that is.)

So far, everything seems to be working out well. Yes, the Lakers are currently just 2-2, but they’ve shown flashes of becoming
a solid team — defeating the Clippers on opening night, playing the San Antonio Spurs tough on Friday night, and defeating the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday evening.

The one player whose minutes absolutely need to be addressed, in my opinion, is Jordan Hill. Hill is one of the Lakers’ better players as admitted by Mike D’Antoni, and D’Antoni vowed he would find him more minutes, but still hasn’t managed to do so just yet.

On Sunday night, Hill proved to be a hero for the Lakers with countless hustle plays and offensive rebounds late in the ballgame helping the Lakers defeat the Hawks, 105-103.  Similarly, Hill’s OREB% is currently at an astounding 29.5 percent, which is the highest in the league among players who’ve played in more than one game this season. For edification, Hill finished fourth in the rankings last season (at 18.1 percent in 29 games), but trailed three players whose total games played added up to just 29.

Coach D’Antoni certainly likes tweaking with his lineup and style of play, and normally prefers to play with a stretch four on the floor, but played Hill alongside Pau Gasol during the crucial stretch of Sunday’s game and it paid off. Finding minutes for Hill should definitely be a priority for this team as he can efficiently contribute on a regular basis.

Nonetheless, the Lakers have something they haven’t had in a while: Depth. No longer will Steve Nash be asked to play 30 minutes on a nightly basis, or will Pau Gasol have to total the second most minutes among any NBA player, as he did two seasons ago. Moreover, with all the depth the Lakers have in the back court and on the wings, Kobe Bryant may even be able to keep his minutes low when he returns, instead of feeling the need to play heavy minutes as he did towards the end of last season.

Four games into the regular season, and it appears that the Bench Mob is back and better than ever!

The Lakers may have lost D12, but now they’re legitimately 12 deep.

I simply want to tell you that I am just new to blogging and seriously savored your blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You definitely come with very good article content. Thank you for sharing your blog site.

  • Informative Site… Hello guys here are some links that contains information that you may find useful yourselves. It’s Worth Checking out….

  • I?m satisfied, I have to claim. Really seldom do I come across a blog that?s both informative and also enjoyable, and let me inform you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is exceptional; the issue is something that not nearly enough people are speaking smartly around. I am extremely delighted that I came across this in my search for something relating to this.

  • There are absolutely a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a fantastic indicate bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general ideas but plainly there are questions like the one you raise where one of the most essential point will be working in truthful good faith. I don?t understand if best methods have arised around things like that, yet I make certain that your job is clearly determined as a fair game. Both children and also girls feel the effect of just a moment?s enjoyment, for the rest of their lives.

  • There are certainly a lot of information like that to take into consideration. That is an excellent point to bring up. I use the thoughts above as general inspiration however plainly there are questions like the one you bring up where one of the most crucial thing will certainly be operating in truthful good faith. I don?t recognize if best techniques have emerged around points like that, yet I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a level playing field. Both children as well as women really feel the effect of just a moment?s enjoyment, for the rest of their lives.

  • Hello! I just wish to provide a substantial thumbs up for the terrific information you have here on this blog post. I will certainly be returning to your blog for even more quickly.

  • Oh my goodness! an impressive short article dude. Thanks Nonetheless I am experiencing problem with ur rss. Don?t know why Incapable to sign up for it. Is there anybody getting identical rss trouble? Any individual that recognizes kindly respond. Thnkx

  • The following time I check out a blog site, I wish that it doesn’t dissatisfy me as long as this set. I suggest, I recognize it was my selection to read, however I actually assumed youd have something intriguing to state. All I hear is a number of yawping regarding something that you could fix if you werent as well active looking for attention.

  • There are certainly a lot of information like that to take into consideration. That is a wonderful indicate raise. I provide the ideas over as basic motivation however plainly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if finest methods have arised around things like that, however I make certain that your work is clearly determined as a level playing field. Both children as well as ladies really feel the effect of simply a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  • There are some interesting moments in this post yet I don?t recognize if I see every one of them facility to heart. There is some legitimacy yet I will hold viewpoint until I check out it further. Good write-up, thanks as well as we desire more! Contributed to FeedBurner too

  • I?d need to contact you right here. Which is not something I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a message that will make individuals assume. Additionally, thanks for enabling me to comment!

  • I?m satisfied, I have to say. Actually hardly ever do I run into a blog that?s both instructional as well as enjoyable, and let me tell you, you have actually struck the nail on the head. Your concept is superior; the problem is something that not nearly enough people are speaking intelligently around. I am very satisfied that I stumbled across this in my search for something connecting to this.

  • I?m satisfied, I need to claim. Actually hardly ever do I encounter a blog site that?s both informative and entertaining, and also let me tell you, you have actually hit the nail on the head. Your suggestion is exceptional; the concern is something that insufficient individuals are speaking wisely about. I am really pleased that I stumbled across this in my look for something relating to this.

  • This internet site is truly a walk-through for all of the information you desired concerning this and also didn?t understand that to ask. Peek here, and you?ll definitely find it.

  • I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this web site on regular basis to take updated from latest reports.

  • After study a few of the article on your site now, and also I genuinely like your means of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site list as well as will certainly be inspecting back soon. Pls look into my web site also as well as let me understand what you believe.

  • This website is truly a walk-through for all of the details you desired about this as well as didn?t know who to ask. Glance here, and also you?ll absolutely find it.

  • The following time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as long as this set. I suggest, I understand it was my option to check out, yet I in fact thought youd have something fascinating to say. All I listen to is a bunch of whining concerning something that you can repair if you werent as well hectic searching for focus.

  • I like what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and exposure! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.

  • Right now it appears like BlogEngine is the best blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  • This is the best blog for any person that wants to find out about this subject. You understand so much its practically difficult to say with you (not that I really would want?HaHa). You definitely placed a brand-new spin on a topic thats been discussed for years. Wonderful things, simply wonderful!

  • A remarkable share, I just provided this onto a coworker that was doing a little analysis on this. And he actually got me morning meal because I discovered it for him. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! Yet yeah Thnkx for spending the moment to discuss this, I really feel strongly regarding it and love finding out more on this topic. When possible, as you become competence, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely practical for me. Big thumb up for this article!

  • Aw, this was a truly nice post. In idea I would like to place in creating similar to this furthermore? requiring time and actual effort to make an excellent post? yet what can I claim? I procrastinate alot and also never appear to get something done.

  • There are some fascinating points in this write-up however I don?t know if I see all of them facility to heart. There is some credibility however I will hold point of view up until I consider it better. Great article, many thanks as well as we want extra! Contributed to FeedBurner also

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.