Last night’s surprising win by the Los Angeles Lakers over their Staples Center roommates the Clippers, stunned not only the city of LA, but the sports world.
Leading the headlines today, the 116-103 win was sealed in a 41-point fourth quarter played solely by the bench. Yes you read that right.
Paul Gasol, Steve Nash and Steve Blake didn’t set foot on the court and neither did starting forward Shawne Williams or shooting guard Nick Young.
The Clippers starters were out-hustled by a Lakers squad that most hoped would not get embarrassed in the season opener. Farmar blew by Chris Paul and Jordan Hill efficiently boxed both out both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
The bench scored 76 points and allowed Coach D’Antoni to rest Gasol and Nash for the second night of a back-to-back set with the Warriors tonight.
Who are these guys?
Jordan Farmar: A two-time NBA champ with the Lakers, the UCLA product left to play with the Nets, then put on a hoops uni in Israel as well as Turkey, prior to returning home.
Still only 26, Farmar has gotten bigger, stronger and learned a system other than the triangle, practiced exclusively during his time in LA under former coach Phil Jackson. He’s a married guy with a child and a more mature player as well.
Jordan Hill: In his second year with the Lakers, the 26 year-old is healthy after an injury last season that required surgery. He has always been an energy guy off the bench and was pressed into service a lot prior to going down to injury as a fill-in for Pau Gasol and sometimes for the dear departed Dwight Howard.
Drafted in the first round by the Knicks in 2009, the Arizona product is a grinder under the boards and can go strong to the hoop as well as put back off offensive rebounds.
Xavier Henry: The high scorer on the night for the Lakers (22 points in 26 minutes) is only 22 years-old but in the fourth uniform during his short career. Another first round draft pick on the Lakers bench, Henry was taken 12th overall by Memphis in the 2009 draft. Born in Belgium, he played his college ball at Kansas.
After two years in Memphis, he shuttled from the D-League to New Orleans Hornets where he played last season.
Jodie Meeks: In his second season with the Lakers, Meeks played mostly off the bench last year as a fill-in as shooting guard or in Coach D’Antoni’s three-guard offense. Also 26 years-old, Meeks was a second round pick in the 2009 draft by Milwaukee after a career playing at Kentucky.
After one year in Milwaukee he landed in Philadelphia and played for the Sixers for a couple of seasons, prior to coming over to the Lakers in a two-year $3 million free agent deal in the summer of 2012.
Chris Kaman: The veteran center played some glory years of his own with the Clippers after he was drafted in 2003 in the first round as the sixth overall pick. Kaman has had his share of injuries and in 2011, he wound up in New Orleans as part of the Clippers shipped there in exchange for Chris Paul
He played the 2012-13 in a Dallas Mavericks uni and joined up with his Olympics hoops teammate Dirk Nowitzki.
Wesley Johnson: Another first round pick on the Lakers bench, Johnson was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, the 26 year-old is a product of Syracuse.After two years in a Wolves uniform, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns for the 2012-13 season.
There you have it my friends, your 2013-14 Lakers bench. What do you think?