Los Angeles Lakers Will Draw On the Strength of Reserves in 2010-11

The summer is winding down, and after an active free agency period, the roster for the Los Angeles Lakers is beginning to have the feel of a real team instead of an assortment of players.

The ultimate goal for the Lakers is a third consecutive NBA championship, and general manager Mitch Kupchak has addressed concerns which should bolster the odds for reaching that plateau.

Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, and Theo Ratliff give the Lakers additional point guard help, defensive length on the perimeter, and a physical presence in the paint, but more importantly each player strengthens the Lakers reserve unit.

The inconsistency of the Lakers bench last season was an area of concern, but the franchise may enter the 2010-11 season with one of the deepest reserve units of the Phil Jackson era.

It's hard to remember the last time the Lakers could substitute for the entire starting five and still field a team capable of holding down the fort for a few minutes.

The chances of this happening are slim, but theoretically the Lakers could play Blake, Shannon Brown, Barnes, Lamar Odom, and Ratliff, while giving the entire first team a rest.

The Lakers have always had a talented bench, but this season they are versatile as well, and Jackson has a variety of potential lineups at his disposal.

Last season, the Lakers bench was seen as a weakness when compared to other elite teams in the West and throughout the NBA, but this year the Lakers reserves will be able to hold their own against anyone.

The Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, and San Antonio Spurs are arguably the deepest teams in the Western Conference, with Portland and Dallas holding an edge over the Spurs.

Dallas has size in the newly acquired Tyson Chandler, strong point guard play in Roddy Beaubois and Jose Barea, and an accomplished scorer in Jason Terry.

Terry may r...

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