Does a Los Angeles Lakers Repeat Hinge on the Performance of the Reserves?

Anyone who follows the Los Angeles Lakers will tell you it's a good chance players like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will give you pretty consistent performances in the postseason, and there have been signs about other players as well.

Ron Artest has been the most consistent defensive player for much of the season, and even though his offensive game has yet to find a rhythm, it's not necessary for Artest to excel in that aspect of the game.

Those three players especially, will usually give maximum efforts throughout the postseason, but when it comes to the bench and their needed contributions, the future is a lot less settled.

Lamar Odom is a wondrously talented player and the one person who defines the inconsistency of the Lakers' reserves in the regular season and so far this postseason.

Odom is the rare talent capable of efficiently playing multiple positions and the range of his game is only limited by his tendency to disappear from contests at the most inopportune moments.

Odom is not alone in his endeavours because while his fellow bench players may not possess the same abilities as Odom they have definitely learned to mimic his inconsistencies.

Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown are the most physically gifted members of the Lakers' reserves other than Odom and the fact they are both point guards is a critical factor to the Lakers' success.

One of Los Angeles' biggest problems has been an inability to defend opposing point guards, and both Brown and Farmar would appear to represent a significant upgrade over the aging Derek Fisher.

Fisher is still a valuable member of the Lakers' franchise and any hopes of a repeat championship will likely include efforts from him but there is no denying his defense has suffered as age has settled in.

He simply lacks the foot speed to stay in front of younger, quicker guards, and Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell...

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