This season, Jamison is averaging 8.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 20.8 minutes a game, numbers that are sure to rise due to the lack of depth in the Lakers' front court. Jamison has struggled this season in low-level bench minutes, butt now that Pau Gasol is out with a major foot injury, Jamison can play more freely in the offense. Since Pau Gasol went down, Jamison is averaging 24.75 minutes a game. He is coming off one of his best games of the season, posting a double-double (19 points and 10 boards) in the win over the Suns.
Following Wednesday’s practice, Steve Nash raved about Jamison saying “He is a smart player, he’s skilled, he can make shots, he can finish in the paint. He’s an extremely bright cutter.. . .He’s been brilliant at reading the space that’s given to him. . .”
Jamison is shooting just under 46% from the field this year and his average attempts of 6.8 per game has to rise so that Kobe Bryant isn’t burdened with the task of absorbing Gasol’s attempts. The former North Carolina Tar Heel is the Lakers’ leading scorer off of the bench and even averages more points per game than starter Earl Clark. The Lakers currently rank sixth in the NBA in points per game at 101.6 points, however, in order to keep up with the top five teams in the Association (four of which are in the Western Conference), Antawn Jamison must increase his scoring.
Depending on matchups, don’t be surprised if Jamison sneaks into the starting lineup in the games following the All-Star break. Tomorrow’s matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers, a team with great depth, will illustrate if Jamison can continue his great play and determine if he is ready to become a necessary force in the Laker offense.
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