One of the early surprises this year for the Lakers (5-7) has been the play of Jordan Hill.

Coach Mike D'Antoni promoted Hill to the starting lineup last Tuesday and the 26-year-old forward/center has responded with averages of 18.8 points and 12 rebounds over four games.

While Hill has helped the starting unit, the Lakers' bench has had some difficulty playing without him — specifically point guard Jordan Farmar.

"When I took Jordan Hill off the second group and put him on the first group, Farmar went into a tailspin," said D'Antoni after the Lakers' victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Against the Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies last week, Farmar scored a single point. He totaled seven assists with four turnovers.

"What Jordan Hill gives you is the separation in the pick-and-roll and now Jordan Farmar can see [the floor]," said D'Antoni.

On Sunday against the Pistons, D'Antoni was able to work the team's rotation so that Farmar got time with Hill.

"I told him, I said, 'Hang in there, I'm trying to get you guys paired back up,'" said D'Antoni.