Jodie Meeks starts season as Kobe Bryant’s primary backup

Jodie Meeks fouls Brandan Wright in Tuesday night's season opener at Staples Center.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Coach Mike Brown seems to have his initial rotation set at shooting guard for the Lakers this season.

Kobe Bryant, naturally, is the starter. In the opener, Bryant played 35 minutes. While that will fluctuate, if that’s the guide, the Lakers have 13 minutes open for subs.

Technically, Bryant can move up to small forward in a smaller lineup, but that’s not something Brown has gone to just yet (preseason or post) for any significant time.

Jodie Meeks relieved Bryant for exactly 13 minutes in the team’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Meeks scored three points on three attempts from behind the arc. Over the preseason Meeks struggled to hit shots within the paint but was strong from the outside.


Brown didn’t play Devin Ebanks in the opener. It would appear the reserve position is Meeks’ to lose, although his grasp on the spot may be tenuous. Brown might give Ebanks a look if Meeks and the Lakers bench struggle to produce.

Rookie Darius-Johnson Odom is a still a project. Brown doesn’t expect to use him any time soon.

The Lakers can go with Steve Blake at two-guard next to Nash if need be. Blake played stretches at shooting guard last year but that may be rare this season.

Bryant’s performance against the Mavericks in defeat was impressive. He scored 22 points on 78.6% shooting (11 for 14).

The Lakers pick back up Wednesday night in Portland.


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