Even in all of the excitement surrounding the Ramon Sessions acquisition, a lot of fans were hoping that the Lakers' other pre-deadline moves would improve a pretty abysmal bench. Getting rid of Luke Walton was great, but the optimists among us wanted even more. "Does this Christian Eyenga guy know how to play?" we asked ourselves. "So he can jump really, really high...let's get Sessions throwing him oops ASAP!" we exclaimed. "Jordan Hill? a lottery pick who was pretty dominant at Arizona?" "Looks like a high energy guy who can get those elusive bench points and boards."It's always a little scary when all 5 starters are on the bench. Until last season, Lamar Odom made the Lakers bench a strength. He had the potential to go off and even outscore Kobe on any given night, and the versatility to be on the court for virtually anyone. While Lamar was inconsistent, what he gave us was much better than the consistently bad current Lakers bench.
Jordan Hill had a great game against Charlotte. In only 15 minutes, he got 14 points, 8 rebounds a block and an assist, playing efficiently with zero turnovers and shooting 6-11 from the floor. Going 2-3 on free throws isn't bad for a big man. I understand that the Lakers have two of the better big men in the game. It should be noted that Charlotte is a pretty bad team, but that's a pretty great stat line for 15 minutes. But then he doesn't get any playing time in the next couple games? It's easy to discount Hill's performance against the 7-49 Bobcats, but he still put up the kind of numbers that make me think he deserves a shot...
To be clear, I want Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol on the court. The team is obviously at its best when #s 16 and 17 are in the game causing matchup nightmares. When both starting big men are out however, I'm not to confident in the McRoberts/Murphy duo. Neither player has shown any consistent scoring potential. With Kobe resting, the Lakers are clearly showing more commitment to the post season than the present games, and I'd rather know now if Jordan Hill can be counted on when Bynum inevitably gets ejected from an important playoff game.