Do the L.A. Lakers Need a Great Bench to Win the 2013 NBA Title?

Dwight's Howard's successful, earlier-than-expected return during the 2012 NBA preseason has answered some of the Los Angeles Lakers' questions concerning chemistry, because while Howard did look rusty after his extended layoff, it was hard to tell from the stat sheet.

Howard scored 19 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and swatted four shot attempts against the Sacramento Kings, but more importantly, most of his baskets came off assists from the very teammates with whom Howard is seeking to establish chemistry.

The Lakers' starting five looked pretty comfortable on the court together, and while they will still face some growing pains down the road, they have the potential to be very good, much sooner than analysts and pundits have predicted.

If Kobe Bryant's foot doesn't become a lingering issue, the Lakers will have the league's most dominant starting five before the calendar shifts to December, but has the the team's reserve unit improved enough to keep pace?

Last season the Lakers had one of the worst benches in the NBA, and after they hit rock bottom, you would think that the only direction they have to go is up.

No Laker reserve averaged double figures scoring last season, and there was no one who could bring an extra boost of energy or intensity, unless you count forward Jordan Hill, who stood out late in the season.

Lamar Odom was the last Lakers reserve that managed to average double figures scoring for the Lakers, but the team may have found someone to fill the scoring void created by Odom's departure.

Antawn Jamison may not be as versatile as Odom, but he is arguably a better scorer, and he's an underrated rebounder to boot.

Jamison averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2011-12, and even though his scoring average with the Lakers will likely decrease, so will the degree of difficulty of his shot attempts.

In Cl...

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