Why Los Angeles Lakers Must Elevate Chris Kaman to a Starting Role

Sometimes it seems that the Los Angeles Lakers have too many injuries, loose ends and shoddy performances to keep track of. However, if the Lakers want to shore up some of these issues and steady the team for the remainder of the season, they could begin by letting Chris Kaman play a starting role with the team.

The illustrious Lakers find themselves at the NBA All-Star break tied—with the Sacramento Kings—for last in the Western Conference at 18-35. Apparently, they are only capable of beating the Utah Jazz.

Lakers haven't beaten a Western Conference team in more than a month. It was Jan. 3... against the Jazz.

— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) February 12, 2014  

Nick Young, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash are all injured, essentially turning the bench into free advertising for high-end tailors in Los Angeles. The remaining roster is a starting five and a three-man weave drill at best. 

This confluence of negative factors is mostly short-term or fixable, but if the Lakers are going to start rebuilding, they need to patch up certain areas of their team right now. The veteran presence of Chris Kaman is a good place to start.

Considering the recent way Kaman's playing time has been trending (more starts, more minutes), the real argument is that Kaman should be elevated to a starting role with a sense of permanence rather than one borne out of necessity due to injury.

Kaman has 29 games under his belt this season but just seven starts. He is averaging roughly 18 minutes per game.

While he has battled injuries, there have been plenty of DNPs (Did Not Play) followed by the enigmatic phrase "coach's decision" next to Kaman's name in the box score. 

This is strange considering the competition he has faced on the Lakers roster.

Jordan Hill is a workhorse but serviceable at best for now. Ryan Kelly is tall but i...

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