Antawn Jamison Will Be Sixth Man L.A. Lakers Need in Mike D’Antoni’s System

Antawn Jamison has been a letdown at best for the Los Angeles Lakers. But that's all going to change under Mike D'Antoni.

When Jamison accepted the veteran's minimum to come play alongside Kobe Bryant and company, Los Angeles envisioned him being the force off the bench it had so sorely lacked for years. He was supposed to contend for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award while instilling a sense of competency into a perpetually thin supporting cast.

As lofty as such a ceiling was, the 36-year-old swingman was supposedly more than capable of handling it. Age aside, he had put up 19.3 points per game for his career and excelled as the second offensive option only last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, posting an impressive 17.2 two points in 33.1 minutes per game. Surely he could continue to score at a high rate now that he would be a near afterthought while on the court.

Or so the Lakers thought.

No one expected Jamison to match—or even come close to matching—his career point totals. His playing time was bound to decrease, and there were a plethora of other offensive options to consider. Yet no one expected him to fair as bad as he did.

Through the first 12 games of the season, Jamison averaged 3.8 points on just 35.6 percent shooting from the field. He played 20 minutes or more just once and failed to post a double-digit point total even once.

Naturally, at that point, there was plenty of cause for concern. Only so much of his struggles could have been attributed to Mike Brown's misuse of him. D'Antoni had been in the saddle for six games by now, and we had not yet bore witness to the Jamison the Lakers believed they were getting.

Until now.

Over the past two games, Jamison is averaging 17.5 points and 11 rebounds in 28.2 minutes per contest. He's shooting a lights out 63.6 percent from the field and 43 percent from downtown as well.

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