Can Xavier Henry Be Key LA Lakers Bench Contributor This Season?

Despite the logjam of guards vying for playing time, Xavier Henry proved that he can be a viable offensive option as a part of the Los Angeles Lakers' second unit.

His versatile offense is the primary reason Xavier should see playing time as a backup shooting guard. Other than Nick Young, no other guard on the roster can score like he can.

While Jordan Farmar may be the better passer and an equally effective shooter, he isn't the athlete or the penetrating threat that Henry is. Not only does Henry drive into the lane, he also has the ability to draw fouls.

In six preseason games this year, Henry has attempted 35 shots from the charity stripe. Making 77.0 percent of those free throws, Henry proves that he can be a credible threat with his penetration.

Although a sample size of nine total three-point attempts during the preseason up to this point is too little to determine whether or not Henry can be a consistent outside shooter, the fact that he made 55.6 percent of those shots is positive sign. 

He may not be the defensive presence that Jodie Meeks is known to be, but his athleticism and quickness show that he has the potential to develop into a serviceable defender. Averaging fewer than a steal a game, Henry has to be more disruptive in the passing lanes in order to really supplant Meeks as the defensive stalwart of the second unit. 

Totalling only three assists during the preseason, one of the biggest knocks on Henry's game must be his facilitating abilities. While his role is to score the basketball, he will need to learn how to get his teammates involved.

His ability to penetrate and draw attention in the paint is only half as dangerous without the ability to kick the ball to an open teammate. 

Despite these knocks on his game, he isn't the only one with flaws in the second unit.

While Meeks is a better defender, he...

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