Is Vladimir Radmanovic Going Back to the Bench?
It has been pretty obvious this season that Vladimir Radmanovic has not lived up to expectations as a starter for the Lakers.
The Lakers are 8-1 so far and have been pretty solid all around this season, but Vlad's stats have been anything but good through nine games.
In preseason, Phil Jackson decided to have Lamar Odom come off the bench. Personally I thought it was a great idea, mostly because he isn't the best outside shooter like Vlad or Trevor Ariza. With Andrew Bynum back healthy and Pau Gasol now at power forward, there would be a lot more open looks for good outside shooters on the floor.
Derek Fisher has proven over the years that he can shoot from beyond the arc. Even his backup, Jordan Farmar, can shoot well from deep. Kobe Bryant still holds the record for most threes in an NBA game with 12 (tied with Donyell Marshall), so you know Kobe can shoot the long ball.
Sasha Vujacic was given a big contract in the off season just because he is a good outside shooter—and finally, Vlad shoots the three as good as anyone on the Lakers with his sweet-looking high arc threes.
The problem is that Lamar Odom just isn't the best shooter. He can hit a shot on occasion, but he is more of a playmaker in the paint, with his long wing span and quick post moves. So hitting the three isn't something he is used to doing like the rest of the Lakers—and for good reason. He definitely a bigger penetrating threat than he is with a spot-up shot.
That being said, while Phil Jackson's decision to put Vlad in the starting lineup instead of LO makes sense, Vlad has become increasingly inconsistent in shooting the basketball, and therefore might be sent to the bench in favor of Ariza or Odom.
Personally, I think it is too early to make the change. When you give a player more shots, regardless of whether he is a shooter, you can expect him to miss a lot of shots in the beginning before he adjusts to his new role on the squad.
Who knows what will happen? But I think you if give any professional time to work out the kinks in his game, you will see it pay off in the long run.
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