Commentary

With Gasol out, Lakers' bench struggling

PER Diem: Nov. 5, 2009

Updated: November 5, 2009, 11:55 AM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com
Lakers BenchKevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesIf the Lakers want to repeat, L.A.'s bench needs to stop kicking up its feet and start pulling its weight.

HOUSTON -- "Welcome to my world, Phil."

That's what 14 other Western Conference coaches are thinking after watching how the Lakers have had to scratch and claw their way to an uneven 4-1 start in the absence of Pau Gasol, who has been out with a hamstring injury.

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