Do the Los Angeles Lakers Have the Best Bench in the NBA?

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers survived the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night, 125-118, winning their seventh game in 12 tries.

Last season's 17-win Lakers didn't notch their seventh victory until New Year's Day. Now the squad has a better record than eight teams in the Western Conference and is tied for fourth place. Predicted to win just 27 games this year, these Lakers are clearly better than preseason expectations.

"It wasn't about what people were saying and their opinions," reserve center Tarik Black said. "They're not in the locker room with us. They don't go out and play with us.

"We're going to work hard and take each game for what it's worth, and we'll see what the record says at the end of the year."

Black gave the Lakers 12 points and nine rebounds during just 13 minutes against the Nets, and he's proved to be an integral part of what may be the best bench in the league.

At 50.6 points a game, Lakers reserves score more than any other team's backups, per Lou Williams (15.6) and Jordan Clarkson (14.8) lead that effort. Together, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., Black, Williams and Clarkson are not only the NBA's top bench unit but one of the most productive groups overall.

Among lineups with at least 80 minutes of court time, the Lakers' fivesome has generated 107.8 points per 100 possessions (offensive rating) while yielding 88.9 (defensive rating), per Their net between offense and defensive ratings is 18.9, which is third overall in the league behind only the starting lineups of the Los Angeles Clippers (31.8) and Houston Rockets (21.0).

Picture that: First overall is Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Redick and Luc Mbah a Moute. Next is James Harden, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson and Clint Capela. And then the Lakers reserves.

"It's amazing what happens when five guys come together, tal...

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