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Alarm Call for the Lakers Bench

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A caller named Israel on the Jim Rome radio show diagnosed the Laker bench perfectly. The bench is awful because they like being on the bench while most other teams’ benches want to be in the starting lineup.

Given an eight-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter the bench decided the paint was too much to handle and settled for jump shots missing all of them while the Jazz came up with two important steals. After Paul Millsap made a layup when Ronnie Price stole the ball from Lamar Odom to bring the Jazz to within a point, coach Phil Jackson had enough and brought in his starters.

“The second unit has to play better,” Kobe Bryant said in a press conference after the game. “It’s as simple as that.”

“I thought our bench really let us down a little bit in the fourth quarter,” Jackson added. “Not so much offensively although things went wrong for them. Just the types of shots they gave up and the charge that Utah put in their game.”

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Watching the bench play is an exercise in frustration for fans. They seem perfectly content jacking up jump shot after jump shot while not learning from their past mistakes. And on the off occasion they do get into the paint, they’re usually running so fast and out of control they lose the ball. I’m looking at your Jordan Farmar.

They make the same mistakes over and over again and seem to treat their playing minutes as exhibition time. Look at this crazy three-pointer I’m going to make! Look at my foot-speed and nifty moves as I get into the paint!