The So-Called Deep Laker Bench

Los Angeles Times
Copyright 2008 Los Angeles Times
March 3, 2008
Bryant, Odom are up to the minutes
Mike Bresnahan
Times Staff Writer

Beyond all the points, rebounds and assists, one statistic has been sneaking up on Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom -- minutes played.

The Lakers have been tucking away victory after victory, including a 108-104 overtime nailbiter Sunday against Dallas, but Odom and Bryant haven't been getting much rest because of the Lakers' injuries.

Odom played 48 minutes against the Mavericks and Bryant played 51, chunks of time that were even larger than usual because of the five-minute overtime.

The uptick in minutes was on Coach Phil Jackson's mind as the Lakers again played only three reserves Sunday -- Ronny Turiaf, Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar.

"Phoenix for the last four years has played three guys off the bench, so it's not unusual," Jackson said. "But the problem is that I play Kobe and Lamar longer minutes. That's a little bit tougher. There's some concern."

Over the last four games, Bryant has averaged 45 minutes and Odom has averaged 40.8.


And yet every pundit I listen to drones on about how the Lakers go 12 deep.

Yeah, Right.

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