COMMENTARY | Jodie Meeks is collecting more DNP's than 3-pointers these days, and for a struggling 1-4 Los Angeles Lakers team with an angry and impatient fan base, the biggest question Is obvious.
The 2012-13 NBA season has been an abomination to this point, and the worst part about it given the Lakers' talent is that the same old issues from last season are creeping up again. The effort isn't there on both sides of the ball, the team looks slow and worst of all the bench is somehow underperforming from what it did a season ago.
The Lakers are a smart organization, so they spent a lot of time retooling their failed bench over the offseason. One of the players thought to help in that regard was Meeks. He's a young, prolific shooter who has the potential to be Sixth Man of the Year material. He's just 25 years old and can bring energy and much-needed scoring to the second unit.
Why isn't he playing, then?
It's the question many fans want an answer to, especially given the poor product on the court to this point. Head coach Mike Brown is clearly toying with the rotation and trying to find a unit that can gel together to give his aging stars the rest they'll need to contend late in the year.
But the failure to give Meeks a chance to prove what he can do on a consistent basis is baffling. What's worse is it could be hurting his confidence. He has just two 3-pointers made on the season and two DNP's. The Lakers aren't getting their money's worth out of him. If the y are going to go through these types of early struggles, then it would be advantageous to develop a strong second unit in the early going and let the bench develop a rapport.
To sit a player that could spell Kobe Bryant as a scoring guard is inexplicable on a team that's seen its second unit struggle to put up points.
The talent at the top is indisputable. The Lakers have five former All-Stars in their starting lineup and an NBA legend at the helm. But what they don't have is any depth to speak of. Meeks may not be the solution, but no one will know that unless he plays some real minutes.
Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and covers the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA.
You can follow him on Twitter @MikeJonesTweets