It's Time for LA Lakers to Give Antawn Jamison a Second Chance

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 02:  Nikola Vucevic #9 of the Orlando is fouled by Antawn Jamison #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers as Metta World Peace #15 looks on during a 113-103 Magic win at Staples Center on December 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Following the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Antawn Jamison racked up his sixth straight game registering a "DNP: Coach's Decision."

Now, over the course of those six games, the Lakers are 4-2, but they've lost two of their last three games and are looking for offensive production from every possible option. Every option, that is, besides Jamison.

As the Lakers continue to have problems finding the right balance of pace, ball movement, and Kobe Bryant isolation, they're missing out on a player who could potentially prove to be incredibly productive.

On paper, it seems as if Jamison is the perfect stretch-4 for Mike D'Antoni's offense. He's a terrific shooter, he knows how to corral rebounds, and he's one of the smartest basketball players that the Lakers have. 

Jamison knows when to shoot and when to pass. He doesn't normally have games where he goes out and tries to "prove something."

Even still, it's been six games in a row, and Jamison has seen less action than 15th man Robert Sacre.

When asked about why Jamison isn't even seeing garbage time, D'Antoni gave an answer that I'm actually a huge fan of.



D'Antoni said Antawn Jamison is too good a player to play garbage time. He could return to rotation at some point, but out of it right now.

— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 29, 2012


Even still, this is a situation that has frustrated Jamison, and led to a bit of concern on his part as to what his role with this team is. However, he continues to be a consummate professional about everything going on.



Antawn Jamison to me about 5 DNP's: "It doesn't make sense at all. They're pretty much telling me my services are no longer needed."

— Mark Medina (@MedinaLakersNBA) December 29, 2012



Antawn Jamison said he would not demand a trade or "rock the boat" because of his lack of playing time. He's in it for the long haul.

— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) December 30, 2012


Granted, Jamison isn't going to do any favors for the defense, and that's been the heart of the problem for the Lakers. However, Jamison doesn't need many minutes. He's got the ability to be productive playing 20 minutes and spacing the floor.

What's really been surprising is that Jamison never got the chance that the rest of the team got to adjust to the new rotation once Pau Gasol and Steve Nash came back. He was just relegated to the bench.

There was never any settling-in period, as he was having as volatile a first 25 games as anybody else on the team.

So what is Jamison to this basketball team if he's not going to be playing defense and he's going to have to work his way back into the lineup?

Well, at the very least he's going to hit mid-range jumpers and come off screens to an open spot; he's just got a keen sense of how to get open.

Keep working in open shots for Jamison and he'll eventually get comfortable. The man was born to catch and shoot. He hasn't had less than 75 percent of his shots assisted on since leaving the Washington Wizards.

It's not that he's in dire need of help to score, just that he knows when and where to take shots, and he works incredibly well in an offense with lots of motion.

The Lakers brought Jamsion in because he can hit shots, and with the Lakers needing all of the offense they can get with the struggling defense of theirs, Jamison can help.