Numerical Proof That Mike D'Antoni Struggles To Manage His Bench
D'Antoni hasn't had a lot of time to work with this team, that is a given, but at this point, he should know who he wants to play, and for how long. This isn't the case though, and players are being given haphazard minutes here and there.
Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks are perfect examples of this.
In Toronto, Jamison played 30 minutes, and then only five days later he played 6 minutes against Utah. In Toronto, he scored 5 points and shot 33 percent, however, against Utah, where he barely played, he scored 4 points and shot 67 percent. Logic would say that he should have played less in Toronto, and more against Utah, but that wasn't the case. It's confusing not only to fans, but to the players as well.
Jodie Meeks is averaging 7 points in 12 minutes for the season, but when his play is inconsistent, the numbers become skewed. His minutes look like they were drawn from a Bingo machine rather than strategized by a coach. Looking at the same games as Jamison, Meeks didn't play against Toronto, then went up to 21 minutes against Utah, where he scored 8 points and shot 50 percent.
The numbers look like this for just about every player on the bench. The players the Lakers have are already not the best shooters, being past their prime or not yet in it, so to make them sit so hot and cold isn't helping anyone. When a person knows what is expected of them, they can mentally prepare for it.
A few players, like the Earl Clarks of the world, who go from no minutes to significant playing time are different, because he wasn't getting minutes at any point. However, when it works the other way around it can be detrimental to their confidence.
This is a big key to why the Lakers' bench is so inconsistent, because it's built on inconsistencies.
In their last win, the Lakers played like a real team, with Kobe Bryant falling one pass short of his game-high assists record. This is how they need to play. With everyone getting involved.
Players' minutes should change based on the team the Lakers are playing, and if they're big or small, fast or slow, but this drastic difference in playing time in inexplicable, especially when they occasionally play better in the short amount of time.