The injuries of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash ravaged the Los Angeles Lakers and consequently forced them into using some less-than-familiar lineups. Some of them performed well, while others were simply disastrous.
Matters were further exacerbated as Lakers players seemingly fell like flies during the head-to-head playoff matchup with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Purple and Gold lost Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks and Metta World Peace during the postseason run. Essentially, the players tasked with replacing the Lakers’ starting backcourt also went down, thus forcing Mike D’Antoni to go deep into his bench.
We will take an in-depth look at these lineups and figure out the three best ones coupled with the three worst five-man units.
The quintets will require a five-minute minimum threshold of playing time together on the floor to qualify. The rationale behind this rule is simple: The multiple blowouts forced D’Antoni to empty his bench late in a few games and play guys who wouldn’t normally participate in heavily contested playoff battles.
The emphasis should be placed on the lineups that played the majority of the contests and allowed the game to get out of hand, as opposed to the five-man groups that finished games that were all but decided.
The units will be measured based on their productivity vis-a-vis their opponents, their offensive and also defensive efficiency.