L.A. Lakers’ Biggest Problem Is Depth, Not Age

If I told you before the start of this season that the Los Angeles Lakers would be 17-21 after 38 games and trailing the Los Angeles Clippers by a 12.5 games in the Pacific division, you'd have laughed and called me ignorant.

How could the new home of three-time defensive player of the year Dwight Howard and 10,000-assist man Steve Nash, when combined with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol fail so miserably? The starting lineup—on a healthy day—features at least three future NBA Hall of Famers. 

How exactly could a team of Kobe, Dwight, Nash and Gasol not run the league? Until recent injuries to both Gasol and Howard forced some barely notable Laker names onto the floor, the answer hasn't been as clear. Now it is. 

The Lakers bench is not nearly good enough to compete with the younger, deeper teams that run the Western Conference. Despite injury woes to the stars and an average age of 28.9—good enough for fourth oldest in the league behind Miami, the Clippers and the Knicks—the Lakers have not been able to sustain any kind of winning streak. They simply are not deep enough. 

It is a bit difficult to make great use of the team statistics out there, as two different Lakers coaches have been forced to employ many different starting lineups through the season's first 38 games. However, what the statistics do show is that neither coach has been able to count on a consistently productive performance from reserves, regardless of what starting lineup is on the floor. 

Lets have a look. 



The Lakers, especially under current head coach Mike D'Antoni, are looking to score in bunches. D'Antoni's system involves consistent offensive pressure and the release of open shooters who can convert at a high percentage. 

Unfortunately for the Lakers, the age of the starting lineup—Nash (38), Kobe (34), Metta World Peace (33)...

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