5 LA Lakers Who Could Lose Playing Time in 2012-13
The Los Angeles Lakers have undergone a complete 180° this offseason, and some players are going to lose minutes; that's what happens when superteams are made.
Established veterans like Antawn Jamison and Steve Nash are prime candidates for a reduction of minutes. They have so much wear and tear that it would be unwise to do anything but decrease their minutes. At least until the playoffs.
Come playoff time, everything changes. But that's alright, it's title or bust in L.A.
Read on to see which five Lakers could see a reduction of their minutes and why each could spend more time on the bench this season.
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
While the role is perfect, it is not the same role he had in Philly. Meeks started 114 games over the last two seasons, and that will not happen in L.A.
Meeks will probably see his 24.9 minutes-per-game average from last year cut in half, since he will be playing behind Kobe.
And that's perfectly fine as long as he comes in and hits perimeter shots.
Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Steve Blake has been a Los Angeles Laker for a mere two seasons, and his minutes are a victim of the lure of the Lakers.
The Lakers traded for Steve Nash this offseason, putting Blake in a tough spot to get the 21.7 mpg he has averaged in his L.A. days.
Even as the backup point guard the last two years, Blake played behind Derek Fisher and Ramon Sessions previously. Therefore, minutes were easy to come by.
Nash is a completely different story and those minutes Blake could steal from Fisher or Sessions will not be there this season.
Blake won't see as large of a minutes drop-off as Meeks, but it's not far-fetched to say he will lose at least five mpg.
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Steve Nash was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason from the Phoenix Suns, and will be a huge factor in L.A.'s title-or-bust season.
Nash is immediately inserted in to the starting lineup and will get the lion's share of minutes at the point guard position. But, it might be better for him to reduce his minutes.
Nash isn't getting any younger and the soon to be 39-year-old needs to save himself for the playoffs.
Laker fans shouldn't be too worried either, because if he loses minutes it will only be maybe two or three per game.
Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Antawn Jamison has been a starter for the majority of his career, but his time is almost up.
He recognized that and signed on with the Los Angeles Lakers to make a title run.
Jamison is a shell of his former self and won't be counted on to provide big-time scoring performances off the L.A. bench, especially with his troublesome knees.
Since he will be a bench player, his 33.1 mpg average from last season will most likely be reduced by 20 mpg.
This shouldn't be a big deal at all, as Pau Gasol is the clear-cut starter. All Jamison needs to do is score seven to 10 points a night and he'll have a successful impact on the team.
Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
If anyone can handle huge amounts of minutes in his mid-30s, it's Kobe Bryant.
No one takes better care of his body and works harder in the NBA. But, all these minutes have to add up sometime.
He has played 42,377 regular-season minutes, 8,641 postseason minutes and countless Team USA minutes. The guy has a ton of mileage on his legs, yet his averaged 38.5 mpg last season.
Everyone knows the Los Angeles Lakers are title or bust this season, and Kobe needs to be well rested for the playoffs.
There's no way he will be rested for the postseason if he has to play almost 40 mpg during the regular season.
Expect Kobe to average around 32 mpg this season as the team saves him for the playoffs, which is all that matters anyway.