People say the NBA is becoming a position-less league. The Lakers are an example that this is simply not the case. Among the head-scratching decisions coach Byron Scott has made thus far, perhaps the most bewildering has been his decision to play career Power-Forward Brandon Bass extended minutes at Center, leading to disastrous results. Bass, long considered a solid role player, has been reduced to an undersized, incompetent shell of his former self, posting a +/- of -11 points in limited minutes. Why? In an effort to push the tempo, Scott has elected to “go small” with the second unit– pitting Bass against players much taller than him. With a mismatch against the team’s favor, he Lakers compromise defense, rebounding, and low-post scoring to be in with the times– and it’s costing them dearly.
But there is a simple solution to this problem, and one that many Lakers fans will not want to hear– they must play Robert Sacre.
One of two true Centers on the team, Sacre fills needs the Lakers have when Hibbert is on the bench. A competent rebounder and a decent defender, Sacre can plug holes that Bass or Black simply are unable to. Sacre’s per/36 numbers are also farily respectable– averaging nearly a double/double a game. With Bass struggling to hit a jump-shot and Black having a sophomore slump with the team, why not give him chance?
This might be a case where the coaching staff is overthinking strategy. The Lakers need a true back-up center– and it’s Robert Sacre.