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2009 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers: Regular Season And Playoff Stats For Every Player

2009 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers: Regular Season And Playoff Stats For Every Player

After failing to win the 2008 NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers reloaded and looked to make a run at winning it all the following year. With a full offseason to work with Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant had his sights on winning his first championship post-Shaquille O’Neal. The Lakers used a collaborative effort to win 65 games in the regular season and make a return appearance in the NBA Finals.

While the Orlando Magic robbed us of the chance of a LeBron James and Kobe Bryant Finals, the end of the year did see a magical moment with Bryant winning his first Finals MVP Award. The Lakers added to their legendary history of winning, while Bryant was able to shake Shaq off of his back. This Lakers team will always be special for their accomplishments this season.

Here are the regular season and playoff stats for each player that played for the 2008-09 Lakers.

D.J. Mbenga

D.J. Mbenga

Regular Season Stats: 2.7 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.0 BPG

Playoff Stats: 0.3 PPG, 0.4 RPG, 0.0 APG, 0.0 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Mbenga’s career began with the Lakers the previous season on a 10-day contract. He was impressed enough to finish the 2007-08 season with the Lakers. His career-high from the 2008-09 season was 10 points with four rebounds and five blocks in a win over the Timberwolves.

Mbenga was used sparingly during the season and playoffs. In the Finals, he played a total of six minutes in three appearances. He would win another title with the Lakers in 2010, while he was a 2004 Belgian League champion as well.

Josh Powell

Josh Powell

Regular Season Stats: 4.2 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Playoff Stats: 2.1 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 0.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Powell went from an undrafted free agent to owning a professional career that lasted from 2003 to 2017. Powell won two championships with the Lakers over the two seasons he stayed with the team. In the regular season, Powell played in 60 games and averaged 11.7 minutes per game. In the playoffs, he made 14 appearances and averaged 5.2 minutes.

In the 2009 Finals, Powell played in 11 total minutes and did not score a basket. He was one of three players, Mbenga and Sasha Vujacic that did not score in the Finals. With that said, he secured a championship ring for being on the roster.

Sasha Vujacic

Sasha Vujacic

Regular Season Stats: 5.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Playoff Stats: 3.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG

After a successful career in Italy, Vujacic came over to the Lakers when he was selected with the 27th pick in the 2004 NBA Draft. After the 2008 playoffs, he signed a deal to stay with the Lakers. During the regular season, he played in 80 games and averaged 16.2 minutes per game. He shot 38.7% from the field with a 92.1% line at the free-throw line.

This season was a career-high for Vujacic in steals per game. In the playoffs, he played about 11 minutes per game but did not shoot very well, shooting 26.4% from the field, but he capitalized at the free-throw line with an 83% average.

Shannon Brown

Shannon Brown

Regular Season Stats: 4.2 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Playoff Stats: 4.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.1 BPG

On February 7, 2009, Brown was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was traded with Adam Morrison for Vladimir Radmanovic. Brown’s playing time was limited when he first started with the Lakers, but he appeared in more games later on. He became a key reserve that played about 16 minutes per game.

Brown’s best game in the playoffs was in Game 1 against the Jazz in the first round. He played 22 minutes and recorded nine points. He finished the first round with 7.2 points and 1.8 assists in 17 minutes of action. All in all, he was a dependable player on the second unit.

Jordan Farmar

Jordan Farmar

Regular Season Stats: 6.4 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Playoff Stats: 4.7 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG

When the Lakers drafted Javaris Crittenton, it spelled a transformation in Farmer's work ethic. He lived in the gym working on his shot, and he battled for his spot on the depth chart. Ultimately, Farmer became the backup point guard to Derek Fisher.

During the regular season, Farmer was limited due to surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. He was expected to miss eight weeks. He averaged 7.9 points and 2.4 assists before the injury. He returned earlier than expected, in four weeks. In the Finals, Farmar averaged 11.4 minutes and scored 17 total points. He shot just 1 of 8 from three-point range.

Luke Walton

Luke Walton

Regular Season Stats: 5.0 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Playoff Stats: 3.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG

With the two titles he won with the Lakers, Walton joined his father, Bill, with two rings. Walton was a key reserve for the Lakers. He played in 65 games during the regular season, 34 of which were where he started. He shot 43.6% from the field in about 18 minutes per night.

Walton’s best stat line came from the NBA Finals. He shot 80% from the field, making 8 of 10 shots in five games. He played about 15 minutes per game, facilitating and playing defense. Out of all players in the Finals, Walton had the highest offensive rating.

Andrew Bynum

Andrew Bynum

Regular Season Stats: 14.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.4 SPG, 1.8 BPG

Playoff Stats: 6.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 0.4 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.9 BPG

After a knee injury set him back the previous season, Bynum came back 100% healthy. He would later sign a four-year, $58 million contract extension with the team as well. During the regular season, he set a new career-high in points with 41 to go with 15 rebounds in a win over the Lakers. Unfortunately, injuries found Bynum again as he suffered a torn MCL in his right knee.

Bynum missed 32 games but returned during the season. He was not the same player, and his playoff numbers were significantly lower. In the Finals, Bynum played 19 minutes per night against Dwight Howard and the Magic. Bynum was still able to provide a presence in the middle despite not being 100%.

Derek Fisher

Derek Fisher

Regular Season Stats: 9.9 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Playoff Stats: 8.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Fisher was a three-time champion with the Lakers in his first tenure. He ultimately came back looking to win more with his friend in Bryant. Fisher faced scrutiny about his age and lackluster defense, but it was Fisher that had one of the biggest moments in the playoffs.

In Game 4 against the Magic in the NBA Finals, Fisher hit a three-pointer over Jameer Nelson with 4.6 seconds to send the game to overtime. He also hit a tie-breaking three-pointer with 31.3 seconds in overtime to help the Lakers win and take the 3-1 advantage. Fisher shot 50% from the field in the Finals, as well as 44% from the three-point range.

Trevor Ariza

Trevor Ariza

Regular Season Stats: 8.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Playoff Stats: 11.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Ariza made 20 starts during the regular season. His career-high was 26 points, but his use to the team was his defense. Ariza was the team’s best overall defender, and he was used in multiple positions. Ariza had the highest steal percentage among any player on the Lakers during the Finals.

That defense carried over in the playoffs. One bright spot came against the Nuggets in the Conference Finals when he stole an inbound pass from Chauncey Billups in Game 1 to preserve a lead. He also stole a pass from Kenyon Martin in Game 3 with 37.1 seconds left with a two-point lead. Ariza’s best game in the Finals came in Game 4 when he scored 13 points in the third quarter to help the Lakers send the game to overtime.

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom

Regular Season Stats: 11.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Playoff Stats: 12.3 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.7 SPG, 1.3 BPG

Odom started the year as a distraction. He came to training camp out of shape. Phil Jackson wanted him to come off the bench, but it was something he was not happy about. With that said, Odom eventually accepted the new role if it meant that he could make a run at winning his first championship. Once he started to settle in, he was a bright spot for the team, even averaging 16.5 points and 13.4 rebounds in February.

Odom started in place of Andrew Bynum when he was out with his knee injury. When he came back, Odom transitioned back to the bench with no complaints. Odom was key in the Finals, averaging 13.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game. He also shot 54.2 % from the field.

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol

Regular Season Stats: 18.9 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 3.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 1.0 BPG

Playoff Stats: 18.3 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.8 SPG, 2.0 BPG

During the regular season, Gasol scored his 10,000th career point and made an All_Star appearance. He won February Western Conference Player of the Month after the Lakers went 11-2. That included road wins over the Celtics and Cavaliers. For the entire season, Gasol was a perfect right-hand man to Bryant.

In the playoffs, his regular-season averages remained consistent. Gasol averaged 18.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in the Finals while shooting 60.0% from the field. Gasol scored the second-most points in those five games while also leading the team in rebounds.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant 2009

Regular Season Stats: 26.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Playoff Stats: 30.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.7 SPG, 0.9 BPG

Bryant began the season, opting to not get surgery on his right pinkie. It didn’t slow him down too much as the Lakers began the year with a 17-2 record. Bryant was named Western Conference Player of the Month for December and eventually made his 11th straight All-Star appearance as a starter. Bryant set a new record for points at Madison Square Garden in February with 61 points and was also later named All-Star Game Co-MVP.

Bryant finished as the league runner-up for MVP despite the Lakers finishing with the best record in the West. In the playoffs, Bryant shined as the team’s leading scorer. He won Finals MVP when he averaged 32.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 7.4 assists. 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks. He became the first player since Jerry West to average at least 32.4 points and 7.4 assists in the Finals.

Coach - Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson

Regular Season Record: 65-17

Playoff Record: 12-7

With Jackson back in the fold, the Lakers made their return to the Finals in 2008. The addition of Gasol was critical for the team to make it back to the top. During the 2008-09 season, Jackson won his 1,000th career game. He became the sixth coach to accomplish that feat.

Jackson coached the Lakers past the Jazz, Rockets, and Nuggets to make the NBA Finals. The Lakers beat the Magic in five games to clinch Jackson’s 10th championship as a head coach, which surpassed the record for most championships by a head coach. He had previously held the record with Red Auerbach.

When the Lakers won 65 games in the regular season, they tied the 1986-87 team for the third-most wins in franchise history. It was the most regular-season wins since 1999-00. The team also improved their record from the previous season by eight games. The Lakers were a popular team as the team sold out all 41 games at home.

The Lakers defeated the Jazz in five games in the first round. It took seven games to get past the Rockets in the second round, but the Lakers prevailed. Then, the team defeated the Nuggets in the Conference Finals to make their 30th appearance in the NBA Finals. The Lakers defeated the Magic 4-1 in the Finals as Bryant won Finals MVP.

The Rise Of Kobe Bryant’s Own Legacy

This might have been the most important championship of Bryant’s career. While the three-peat was legendary, it was Shaquille O’Neal that won three straight Finals MVPs. The championship in 2010 was special because it was the fifth title of Bryant’s career. With that said, there was a lot of talk about Bryant’s legacy about how he couldn’t win a title without Shaq. That was magnified tenfold in 2006 when O’Neal won his fourth title when he played for the Heat.

The Lakers essentially chose Bryant over Shaq when they traded him to the Heat and gave Bryant a contract extension. Bryant had not been able to lead the Lakers back to the NBA Finals before O’Neal won a title. The Lakers winning the 2009 championship certified that Bryant was truly a top-10 player in NBA history. He proved he could win a team to the championship himself. This title vaulted Bryant’s legacy into the conversation of the best of the best. 


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