Los Angeles Lakers: L.A. Has a Small Forward Crisis on Their Hands

This isn't the first year the Los Angeles Lakers have been weak at the small forward position.

It started with Luke Walton and Vladimir Radmanovic (say that three times fast), died down with Trevor Ariza and then Ron Artest, and it's flaring back up again with Matt Barnes, Devin Ebanks and Metta World Peace.

World Peace started by accepting his sixth-man role and played strong in the opening games, but it seems he's left his low-post prowess to become a fadeaway wannabe.

Barnes and Ebanks is where it gets interesting.

Both, in my opinion, deserve the spot, but MIke Brown can't seem to make a decision.

And who can blame him? With both putting up fairly disappointing numbers so far, it's hard to choose between who's bad, and who's worse than bad.

Ebanks is averaging five points, 3.4 rebounds and an assist per game, while Barnes is averaging 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and still, a single assist.

These numbers don't exactly jump out at you.

Ebanks started the first games, but in the three before the last, didn't play at all. Barnes took his spot and was almost more disappointing because of his experience and veteran approach to the game.

Barnes has earned his ranks in the NBA, but his experience isn't showing here.

I've been pushing for the Lakers to start Ebanks, the younger (much younger) of the two. The reasons being:

1. He provides much needed youth.

2. He provides much needed athleticism.

3. The Lakers, in terms of the small forward position, were best when Ariza was in the three spot, and Ebanks is the closest thing we've seen since Ariza.

But I also recognize what Barnes brings to the table:

1. He might be the Lakers' best wing defender.

2. He's a better shooter than Ebanks (understatement).

3. He's more experienced and perfo...

About the Author