Minutes Are at a Premium for Players on the Lakers' Bench

The Lakers might just have the deepest team in the league this year, in terms of quality talent that can come in and contribute off the bench. While most teams stick to a seven or eight man rotation, L.A. has no trouble going 10 players deep, which means that there are some talented guys that won't be seeing the court as much as they might if they played for another squad.

Luke Walton is one of those players. A season ago, he started for the Lakers 31 times, and averaged over 23 minutes per game. This year however, with Lamar Odom moving to a sixth man role and the development of Trevor Ariza and Jordan Farmar, Luke seems to be the odd man out, playing just 16 total minutes in the Lakers' first four games. This has not gone unnoticed -- at least by Farmar -- who reminded Luke of this very fact after Walton playfully interrupted Jordan's post-game interview.

That's cold, Jordan. But a comment like that isn't likely to sting too much, as long as the team is winning. And Phil Jacksonsays that it's the quality of minutes a player plays, not the quantity, that matters on a championship caliber team.

"They just have to understand whatever they have to do to go in there and play is important," Jackson said. "In the past, I've had guys who have come in and played the last 30 seconds, the last 20 seconds of quarters and contributed in a way that's valuable to a basketball club. So, guys find a way to do that even though they know their minutes are going to be squelched because they're on a good team."

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