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Lakers Bench Steady Mobbin'

Are they finally here? The Lakers team that actually looks like the team everyone has been dreaming about? So it seems, going into tonight’s game against a Chris Paul-less Hornets, the Lakers are riding a 6 game win streak in which they’ve hit the 100 point mark in all 6 games, and have won the last six by an average of 17.7 points. Sure, the competitions been fairly weak, but this is a huge improvement from previous Laker teams we have seen. I no longer panic when we face below .500 teams in fear that we will play down to their level, a problem that has haunted this team in years past. Everything is going right for this team, and  everything is clicking on all cylinders. With a healthy starting line-up, and the bench mob delivering, the Lakers are rolling past all teams (regardless of wins) in their way.

            Rolling past them doesn’t give this squad enough credit. Almost every player is contributing and filling their roles. This team is playing with a sense of urgency and chemistry that I hadn’t seen until Pau was in the line-up. Kobe is no longer aiming for 40, because he knows theirs other ways to obtain the W.

In the last two blowout victories against a controversial Warriors team and a winless Nets team, the bench has averaged a staggering 39.5 points a game. Not too mention, the development and hustle of players such as Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown have been tremendous. It’s no coincidence that the Lakers were able to rest their starters in two blowout victories that coincided with the strong play of the “bench mob.” Farmar to Brown is beginning to look like a consistent ESPN highlight reel, within their ally-oops and impressive blocks (Farmar on Skip to my Lou), seems as though the young UCLA native is beginning to grasp what is asked from him.

            It has bothered me to see Farmar’s production and minutes dip throughout his years in the league. His confidence has clearly been tampered with and has shown on the basketball court. A young point guard that has tremendous upside has been delivering sub par performances while his back up at UCLA Darren Collison is coming into town with an impressive so far rookie season, and his shooting guard at UCLA Arron Afflalo is breaking out of his shell for the Denver Nuggets. It has seemed up until recently Farmar’s development has gone backwards. Farmar changed his jersey number at the beginning of the season to 1, and with Phil saying he wants to limit Fisher’s minutes to around 25 a game (he’s at 26, his second lowest in his last 10 seasons) Farmar has shown he is deserving of more minutes as he has filed the role of point guard general quite nicely.

With a bench consisting of players like Lamar Odom, Jordan Farmar, Shannon Brown, and Sasha Vujacic, any of these players could explode for a 20-point game on any given night. Throw that in with an All-Star lineup that the Lakers like to call there starters, if the bench mob continues to play the way they have recently, it will be a steady ride on their way to another NBA championship.

By: Cyrus Mehrfar, to follow, visit


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