Predicting the Lakers Playoff Rotation
The Los Angeles Lakers currently have a 33-20 record, putting them at third place in the Western Conference playoff race. The question now is what the Lakers' team rotation will look like come playoff time.
The recent additions of point guard Ramon Sessions and big man Jordan Hill have injected a bit of youth into an old and tired Laker lineup. How these new additions will fit into the playoff rotation
Here's a breakdown of each position on the floor and how time will be split between players.
1. Ramon Sessions
I have to believe that Sessions will get most of the time at the point guard spot when the playoffs begin. He was a big addition for the Lakers at a position they really need. To not play him there would not make sense.
2. Steve Blake
Blake isn't a bad back up to have for the playoffs. He gets a bad rap, but it probably isn't solely his fault that he hasn't been as good in LA as many hoped. He's no starter by any means but not a bad role player off the bench.
3. Darius Morris
Third-string point guard isn't the most glamorous of positions, but the rookie Morris fills it well. He has played decently in the small amount of time that he has played, and he could be a player of the future. Right now though, he won't step on the court in the playoffs.
1. Kobe Bryant
Does anyone but Bryant play this position? He's the leader of this team, and he'll be the one whose play determines whether the team wins. If he plays naturally within the offense and involves his teammates, they'll win. If he ballhogs and tries to do too much on his own, they'll lose.
2. Andrew Goudelock
You know Bryant plays a ton when his back up, Goudelock only plays around 10 minutes and hasn't even played in every game. He's another potential player for the future who has shown some good things and won't be on the floor in the postseason.
3. Christian Eyenga
Eyenga rounds out the depth chart at the shooting guard position, despite the fact that his natural position is at small forward. He's a leftover from the Ramon Sessions trade and not much more for the Lakers.
1. Metta World Peace
The player formerly known as Ron Artest has lost a step in his game. He's anything but safe at the spot, but he'll probably stay here because of his experience and because his backup is needed by the second unit.
2. Matt Barnes
Barnes is probably the better option at this position (though not by much), but he is needed in the second unit. That unit is one of the worst in the NBA, and it would be much worse without him.
3. Devin Ebanks
Ebanks is young and athletic, but he won't play much. He's shot pretty poorly this season when he has touched the floor and that isn't a good sign for his playoff time chances.
1. Pau Gasol
No one's been in the headlines more than Pau Gasol this season. He's the X-Factor for the Lakers' success. If he does well and gets his shots, he makes the whole offense better.
2. Josh McRoberts
McRoberts was a preseason pickup to add depth up front for the Lakers behind Gasol and Andrew Bynum. He plays around 16 minutes per game, and he'll only play for spurts in the playoffs.
3. Troy Murphy
Murphy is pretty much an older version of McRoberts added during the preseason for the same reason. He plays rarely and will do so in a very limited role during the playoffs.
1. Andrew Bynum
At just 24 years of age, Bynum is clearly the Lakers' building block for the future. The young All-Star is averaging around 18 points and 11 boards per game and is making the case that the offense should be run through him and not Kobe Bryant. He's averaging 35 minutes per game right now and that will go even higher in the playoffs.
2. Jordan Hill
Hill has played very sparingly since joining the Lakers before the trade deadline. That will change in the playoffs, where the youth and athleticism that Hill can bring will be desperately needed. He won't play big minutes, but he will play meaningful ones.