January 4, 2010

Lakers Bench to The World: Yeah, We're Still Here

Pop quiz: Which of the following statements about the Los Angeles Lakers-Dallas Mavericks game is fictional?
  • The leading scorer for the  was somebody who came off the bench.
  • Sasha Vujacic shot better behind the three-point arc than the Lakers' starters combined.
  • Adam Morrison (yes, Adam Morrison) finished with the same number of points as Pau Gasol, while netting a 100% shooting clip.
If you answered any of the choices, then you're in for a surprise: all of them happened in the Lakers' drubbing of the Mavericks.

I've always been an advocate of inspired play from the Lakers' bench and the game was a beauty. After the starters built a solid lead in the first half, the usually lackadaisical bench protected the lead and even made it bigger. Jordan Farmar, who led the Lakers in scoring for the game, was superb offensively and D.J. Mbenga protected the paint en route to 3 blocks.

If the Lakers' bench played like this every game, there wouldn't be any need for Kobe Bryant heroics in the end game. Of course, a lot of fans won't be happy with that, but give me a dominating Lakers game any day.

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