It's been a long time coming, and there's still a lot of work to do, but it seems like the Los Angeles Lakers' bench may have finally found their identity.
Last night, after the Lakers narrowly squeaked by the Charlotte Bobcats, Kobe Bryant was asked about the bench's play in recent games. Kobe responded that Meeks, Morris and the rest of the bench will bring the tempo and cause “havoc.”
“That will be their identity,” he added.
All season long, people have been wondering when the Lakers bench would fall into place. It's not quite reliable yet, but the men have certainly been playing better than they were before.
It makes sense that Kobe would like this havoc-wreaking crew because was winning championships he had someone on the team who was a pest and caused “havoc.” For a recent example, think Sasha Vujacic. Someone who came off the bench and bothered the hell out of the other team, but wasn't the most skilled on the team. He could still make an impact.
The bench's numbers aren't terrible. Jodie Meeks is young, this being his fourth season in the NBA, and is currently averaging 8 points a game, Morris is in his second season and averages 5 points and 2 assists. As for “the rest of the bench,” their numbers are similar.
With Metta World Peace coming off the bench, there's even more “havoc” and energy added to the lineup. Before the beginning of the season, Coach Mike Brown said Metta texted him saying that he was ready to step up as sixth man, which is what he was on Tuesday night. Against Charlotte, he scored 17 points, had 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 1 block. While those numbers are a bit inflated from his average, they are right on par with his recent play.
It makes so much sense to have the younger players who are enthusiastic, energetic and hungry come off the bench. Despite his age, Metta also fits in well with this lineup, and he doesn't have a soft ego that's hurt by being put on the bench.
While the Lakers' last wins weren't beautiful, and they weren't a huge confidence builder, it's nice to see that at least one big thing is falling into place for the Lakers, and that is their bench.