Lakers bench upgrades during the off-season

The worst bench in the NBA production-wise has greatly improved during the offseason.

The Los Angeles Lakers bench, considered one of the worst in the 2011-2012 season after averaging a league-low 15.6 points a game, has added some fire power by bringing in forward Antawn Jamison and guard Jodie Meeks during free agency.

Jamison, 36, who signed a one-year, $1.4 million contract with the Lakers, has been known throughout his career to be a starter. He does, however, know a little something about coming off the bench, too. He was the NBA’s sixth man of the year in 2004 when he played for the Dallas Mavericks.

Jamison, who is versatile enough to play both forward positions, averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in 33 minutes per game last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Meeks, 24, who signed a two-year deal worth $3 million, will back up Kobe Bryant. Bryant, who will turn 34 in a couple of days, averaged 38.5 minutes a game last season, the most on the team.

Meeks averaged 8.1 points on 41.1% shooting, 37.1% on three-pointers, over his three-year career, and he started 50 of 66 games last season for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Gone from last year’s team are reserves Matt Barnes, Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy and Christian Eyenga.

Barnes led the Lakers’ reserves, averaging 7.8 points on 45.2% shooting, 33.3% on three-pointers. Blake averaged only 5.2 points on 37.7% shooting, 33.5% from three-point range.

The Lakers bench, along with Meeks and Jamison, features forward Jordan Hill, guard Steve Blake, small forward Devin Ebanks along with point guard Chris Duhon and forward Earl Clark, who were acquired in the Dwight Howard trade.

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