Projecting Each 2012-13 L.A. Lakers Player's Minutes Per Game

Roberto PayneContributor IAugust 22, 2012

Projecting Each 2012-13 L.A. Lakers Player's Minutes Per Game

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    The Los Angeles Lakers captured all the headlines this offseason with major moves for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard.

    Adding these two stars, along with several other role players, raises questions about the distribution of minutes. Someone is bound to get less minutes as Nash and Howard get more minutes.

    Will those minutes be taken away from someone like Steve Blake or even Pau Gasol? Could we see a decrease in Kobe Bryant's minutes?

    Read on for the answers to these questions and a minutes per game breakdown for all 14 Los Angeles Lakers currently under contract for next season.

Metta World Peace

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    Projected minutes per game: 27.6

    Metta World Peace is getting older, but there really isn't much competition for him on the current Laker roster.

    The only other small forwards on the roster (Devin Ebanks and Earl Clark) are simply not good enough to challenge World Peace for his starting spot.

    That being said, World Peace could be in line for a big year. He's the worst player in a loading starting five and thus should get a ton of open looks from both deep and mid-range.

Steve Blake

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    Projected minutes per game: 14.3

    Steve Blake will definitely see a decrease in his minutes, as Steve Nash will take away a solid amount of time.

    Blake is still a decent enough shooter to reliably hit the three-pointers, and will definitely need to do so coming off the bench.

    Blake needs to perform well from the get-go because Chris Duhon is waiting in the wings to take over his spot.

Chris Duhon

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    Projected minutes per game: 2.3

    Chris Duhon came over in the Dwight Howard trade, and finds himself in a tough situation. The Lakers already have Steve Blake at the backup point guard role.

    Duhon will have to beat out Blake for the backup role, but that doesn't seem likely anytime soon.

Pau Gasol

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    Projected minutes per game: 35.9

    Pau Gasol is one of the best power forwards in the NBA and will continue to get a considerable amount of minutes.

    Gasol now has a defensive partner down low in Dwight Howard and can focus more on putting up offensive numbers. Expect another double-double season for Gasol, albeit a quiet one.

Devin Ebanks

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    Projected minutes per game: 12.1

    Devin Ebanks should get the backup small forward role simply for the fact he's familiar with the coaching staff.

    Ebanks is a plus athlete, but really needs to work on a couple basic other things like shooting and passing.

    Earl Clark is his main competition for backup minutes, but Clark has really struggled during his brief NBA career. Ebanks has the backup role to lose.

Andrew Goudelock

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    Projected minutes per game: 1.4

    Andrew Goudelock is not close to becoming a regular rotation player, and will not do so next season.

    Expect Goudelock to ride the bench throughout the year before getting more time the season after.

Antawn Jamison

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    Projected minutes per game: 15.9

    Antawn Jamison chose to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year deal to chase the elusive championship, and will play a big-time role on this year's team.

    Jamison will provide the main scoring spark off the bench and be counted on to produce on a nightly basis. On an otherwise weak bench, Jamison will be a bright spot.

    He could even be used at small forward down the stretch in place of Metta World Peace, but only if offensive is needed.

Earl Clark

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    Projected minutes per game: 2.1

    Earl Clark was acquired in the Dwight Howard trade and comes into a tough situation for playing time. Ahead on the depth chart are Metta World Peace and Devin Ebanks.

    Clark has shown flashes of skill that made him a lottery selection of the Phoenix Suns, but his inconsistency has only harmed him in his quest for minutes.

    Also, Clark is not ready to be a backup yet and will have to sit on the bench this season.

Jodie Meeks

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    Projected minutes per game: 11.1

    Jodie Meeks was signed from the Philadelphia 76ers to do one thing, shoot the rock. Meeks is a knockdown three-point shooter, as he has shot 37.1% from deep in his career.

    Obviously Meeks can expect a sharp decrease in minutes, that's just what happens when Kobe Bryant is ahead of you on the depth chart.

    The key for him is taking that decrease in stride and embracing his new role off the bench.

Steve Nash

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    Projected minutes per game: 30.4

    Up until the trade for Dwight Howard, Steve Nash was the biggest Laker offseason acquisition and the talk of the town.

    Nash gives the Lakers a fantastic floor general and the best point guard the franchise has had since Magic Johnson.

    The only downside to Nash is his age, as he will turn 39 years old this season. Managing his minutes will be key to keeping his legs fresh for a deep playoff run.

Darius Morris

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    Projected minutes per game: 1.8

    Darius Morris, like Andrew Goudelock and Earl Clark, is buried on the depth chart and will be lucky to see minutes at all. There simply isn't enough minutes to go around.

    Morris showed promise, but needs time to improve his game.

Jordan Hill

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    Projected minutes per game: 12.6

    Jordan Hill came over to the Lakers in a trade deadline deal last season and earned his spot on this year's team with his solid play.

    Hill's hustle and energy were key components for the Laker bench, and that should be constant this season in a similar roll.

Dwight Howard

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    Projected minutes per game: 37.9

    Dwight Howard is the top center in the NBA and will get appropriate minutes as such.

    Howard has never had teammates remotely close to the talent on this roster, and I expect an even greater concentration level from the big guy.

    Dwight can be himself again in L.A. this year, as the team has other star players who can take some of the pressure off his shoulders, especially offensively.

    Getting Dwight was a huge move for the Lakers, and I fully expect the Lakers to challenge the Oklahoma City Thunder for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Kobe Bryant

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    Projected minutes per game: 34.8

    Kobe Bryant was physically revitalized after his knee procedure in Germany a little more than one year ago, and management helped him on the court with some fantastic acquisitions.

    Everyone knows just how special Kobe is, and the scary thing is that he might face less double teams this season. The moves for Steve Nash and Dwight Howard make the starting lineup almost double team proof, as it would be unwise to double off of anyone other than Metta World Peace.

    That could leave single coverage on Kobe in key situations, which goes in his favor 10-out-of-10 times.

    Toss in the fact that Nash loves to distribute the rock to his teammates, and Kobe will have yet another big season on his L.A. team.