Breaking Down How Antawn Jamison Will Thrive Immediately as LA Lakers’ 6th Man

In a way, Antawn Jamison's career came full circle when he signed on the dotted line with the Los Angeles Lakers this past July.

He's back in California, the same state he began his NBA career as a member of the Golden State Warriors. He'll be settling into a role as a scoring-sixth man on a Western Conference contender, much as he did with the 2003-04 Dallas Mavericks.

Time and experience may have reshaped the 36-year-old Jamison's physical condition since those salad days, but his game—that of an unorthodox scorer who's hardly ever met a shot he didn't like—remains largely intact.

If going back to California works out as well for Jamison as it once did for LL Cool J, then the Lakers may yet have found the perfect solution to the residual deficiencies of their reserves.

The Lakers' bench scoring has been sub-par for some time, even before Lamar Odom demanded a change of scenery last December. According to Hoops Stats, LA never ranked higher than 16th in reserve scoring with Odom riding the pine and checked in at 18th (28.2 points per game) in 2010-11, when Odom earned Sixth Man of the Year honors.

To be sure, the situation only deteriorated once Odom asked for an out. The Lakers plummeted to dead last in bench scoring (21.3 points per game) in 2011-12, just below the 29th-place Boston Celtics and the 27th-place Miami Heat.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, for their part, came in 16th.

It would seem, then, that depth is somewhat overrated, at least among teams vying for the title. Of greater import is the employment of superstars and other top-end talent, with depth necessary for those teams that lack players of the aforementioned caliber.

Not that having a strong second unit or a former All-Star like Antawn Jamison to lead it need be considered disadvantageous. Jamison was named the league's Sixth Man of the Year in 2003-04 for his work with the Mavs, averaging...

About the Author