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Ramon Sessions' debut as a starter goes according to plan

March 24, 2012|By Mark Medina
  • Lakers guard Ramon Sessions thrives in his starting debut
Lakers guard Ramon Sessions thrives in his starting debut (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Everything about Ramon Sessions appears to happen quickly.

He runs the floor with unrelenting speed. Sessions has crammed enough of the offense in the last week that it now looks like a well-oiled machine. His debut as a starter in the Lakers' 103-96 victory hardly involved much of a transition period, as he posted 20 points and 11 assists.

"I wouldn't say it's this fast," Sessions said. "But it's one of those things where you have those big three guys out there [in Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol]. They make it easy. Having those guys out there makes my adjustment a lot easier."

Yet, everything about Sessions appears to make things easier for everyone around him.

He hasn't just upgraded the team's play at point guard and with pick-and-roll execution. He upgraded the Lakers' small forward production. Metta World Peace (14 points) received great looks in the post and from three-point range because of Sessions' floor presence. Matt Barnes (nine points) received great looks with his off-the-ball movement because of Sessions' floor presence. Andrew Bynum (28 points) received both great looks in the post and navigated better through double teams because of Sessions' passing. The Lakers' bench flourished when Steve Blake played at shooting guard to begin the fourth quarter because of Sessions' ability to play with starters and reserves.

And, well, you get the idea.

"We're a pretty easy team to play with," Bryant said. "We got guys that space the floor extremely well and high-IQ guys. With the talent level that he has, it's a pretty easy transition for him."

It's been a pretty easy transition for Bryant, too. He doesn't have to handle the ball as much. He doesn't have to create his own shot. He doesn't have to worry as much about entire defenses latching onto him because they now have to latch onto Sessions. Bryant didn't benefit from those freedoms against Portland, scoring 18 points on five-of-17 shooting. Neither did Gasol, whose 14 points came on five-of-14 shooting. But that's the scary part. The Lakers' offense still thrived despite those poor shooting numbers from two star players.

"It might've been tough from us," Brown said when asked if the Lakers could absorb off nights from Bryant and Gasol before the trade deadline. "It's one of the reasons we acquired a guy like Ramon."

That's because Sessions has quickly made things easier for the Lakers.

"We expect to win. I can't really say what the numbers will be night in and night out," Sessions said. "But it's one of those things where I was feeding off Pau, Bynum and Kobe. They make my job a lot easier out there. Everybody is paying those guys a lot of attention so I just stick around and take what they give me."

RELATED:

Ramon Sessions to start against Portland

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Five things to take from Lakers' 103-96 victory over Portland Trail Blazers

Ramon Sessions' debut as a starter goes according to plan

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