Can the Lakers Bench Mob Make a Comeback This Season?

Does anyone remember when the Los Angeles Lakers had one of the best benches in the NBA last season?

If you blinked, you may have missed it—injuries soon descended like a swarm of remorseless locusts, leaving barely enough bodies to constitute a minimum lineup by NBA standards.

But before all that, the roster was flush and the second unit was cranking out points. The Lakers had the league's highest scoring bench for the first several weeks of the regular season, typically fueled by volume-scorer Nick “Swaggy P” Young, along with Jodie Meeks, Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry and Jordan Hill.

In fact, on opening night, the bench scored 76 points in a win against the Los Angeles Clippers. 

Ancient history, you say? What makes anyone think it can happen again?

Although the 2014-15 regular season is still several weeks away, hints of a starting lineup are beginning to emerge, pointing in turn to potential bench players. Per Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

Scott will spend training camp figuring out his starting lineup, which he says will currently feature Nash, Bryant, Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill. He is leaning toward starting Wesley Johnson at small forward because of his defensive potential and relying on Nick Young’s prolific scoring off the bench.

As one of last season’s few bright spots, Young is back this season with a new contract and highly motivated to do what he does—namely put up numbers. In an interview with Mike Trudell of, new Lakers coach Byron Scott credited “Swaggy P’s” effort on both ends of the floor and indicated that he loves him in a bench role:

I liked how he played and how he was giving full effort on the defensive end, and I really love his energy. He cared about winning. He changed his whole persona, what people thought of him. I’d never seen him play d...

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