Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
With an aging starting lineup, it's surprising the Los Angeles Lakers didn't address their team's overall depth to a greater extent this summer.
To start, there's a serious logjam at point guard behind starter Steve Nash. Chris Duhon and Steve Blake are both flawed talents, and Blake has failed to flash consistency in his two years with the team.
As Nash grows older, the Lakers will need to find a backup capable of running the team's new offense while the two-time MVP sits for periods of the second and third quarters.
Perhaps more troublesome than the reserve talent at point guard is the Lakers' lack of depth on the wing. Behind Kobe Bryant and Metta World Peace, you have names like Jodie Meeks and Devin Ebanks, both of whom are limited both offensively and defensively.
Meeks may prosper a bit more in the Western Conference, but during his time with the Sixers, he showed that his only real contribution on the offensive end came in the form of three-point shooting. Unable to drive to the cup with authority, Meeks was eventually relegated to bench duty in Philly (via philly.com).
Another concern with Meeks is that he has struggled mightily trying to defend more physically imposing wings. As a limited role player, Meeks will be streaky, and the Lakers are going to have to learn to live with his imperfections.
Ebanks provides the length and athleticism on the wing that Meeks lacks. However, the third-year wing posted a PER of just 8.35 last season, and that will need to improve markedly if he wants any shot at significant minutes off the bench.
The good news so far is that Ebanks has looked good in the preseason, averaging 8.5 points per game (via NBA.com).