Lakers News: Revamped Second Unit Makes L.A. Stronger Than in Previous Season

During the 2012-13 NBA regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers experienced one of the most disappointing collapses in league history. With a cast of future Hall of Famers, the Lakers struggled to hold onto a record above .500, and needed a victory on the final day of the season to reach the playoffs.

While Dwight Howard may be gone, the Lakers have done what no one is giving them credit for—they've created a stronger team by improving their abysmal second unit.

The Lakers have been as active as any team in the NBA this offseason, addressing voids all along their bench. From finally adding athletes to creating depth at every position, the Lakers have gone against their traditional approach and avoided the star pursuit.

Instead, they've done what every title contender does—surrounded their superstars with capable role players.

During the 2012-13 regular season, the Lakers' bench ranked 28th in scoring, 26th in efficiency and 28th in defensive efficiency. Here's what the NBA pundits who put down the Lakers' vaunted starting lineup didn't want you to know:

Los Angeles' starters ranked second in scoring, first in rebounding, sixth in assists, fourth in efficiency and sixth in defensive efficiency.

Not only does that disprove the theory that L.A.'s stars were to blame, but it shows just how careless the Lakers were in assembling a bench. The absence of quality role players to play filler minutes was detrimental to team success and is the true reason for the Lakers' underwhelming season.

That's exactly why the improvements they've made are so significant—they make Los Angeles a better team in 2013-14 than they were in 2012-13.


Re-Visiting 2012-13

During the 2012-13 NBA regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers ran a second unit led by Steve Blake, Chris Duhon, Darius Morris, Jodie Meeks, Earl Clark, Jordan Hill ...

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