NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers Over .500 Thanks In Large Part to Solid Bench Effort

Derick E. Hingle – USA TODAY Sports

The haters sure have gotten quiet after the Los Angeles Lakers began the first 17 games of this regular season with a winning record.

This previous NBA offseason was filled with the buzz of how atrocious the Lakers would be this upcoming season, but so far they have done a nice job of proving everyone wrong. Kobe Bryant has yet to return from his devastating Achilles injury suffered April 12, yet the Lakers are steadily climbing their way up the Western Conference standings due to strong bench play and Pau Gasol turning up his game. The Lakers have also notched impressive wins over the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors — all teams projected to easily make the playoffs in the West and all possible NBA Finals contenders.

With only around twenty percent of the season in the books there is plenty of basketball left this year. Yet Lakers fans everywhere can’t help but rejoice in the success their favorite team has found so far this year, and this team can only get better once they get their superstar back. Head coach Mike D’Antoni will continue to play with his rotations throughout the season, but this bench will only get deeper and more effective once Bryant returns to his starting role and 30 minutes a night.

Overall it has gone from what looked to be a disappointing season to one full of hope and excitement. The Lakers and their fans have an expectation and a culture of winning; this season is no different. Regardless of the injuries and the diversity in the lineup, the Lakers are going to win basketball games.

Be sure to follow Ian Meredith on Twitter @Cui2iousGeoi2ge.