Monday, November 12, 2007

The right lineup for the Lakers

Life with Chris Mihm as your starting center is hard. A lot of clanked jump hooks, failed rebound attempts and misses from point blank range will mess with your nervous system. But aside from Mihm and some backups, Brian Cook and Sasha, the Lakers have actually been fun to watch.
From Ronny's hustle and chemistry with Kobe, to Kobe's dominance to Lamar's comeback, the Lakers are trying to make believers out of their critics.

The key to the season is the lineup the Lakers put on the floor. Against the T-Wolves on Friday, the Lakers starters fell behind 20-12. Enter Andrew Bynum to go along with Kobe, Odom, D-Fish, and Turiaf and the Lakers go on a 12-2 run to take command of the game. Luke Walton and Jordan Farmar coming off the bench to give guys breathers is OK as well. For the eighth rotation spot, Phil Jackson can switch it up. Rotate big guys Mihm and Kwame Brown, sprinkle in Vlad Radmanovic and Maurice Evans, but give the bulk of the minutes to the aforementioned seven.

The oft-criticized Bynum is having a terrific season, though his minutes are still limited. Per 48 minutes, he is averaging 20.9 points and 20.1 rebounds per game in five games. Turiaf has developed into a bona fide power forward but thanks in part to foul trouble and Phil's unwillingness to play him all the time, Turiaf is playiong only 25 minutes per game.

Meanwhile Fisher has been the steady rock everyone thought he will be, Kobe has been his usual dominant self and has added shot blocking to his repertoire (he's averaging a career high 1.2 so far), and Lamar's shoulder appears to be healthy enough for him to drop 18 and 10 in his first game back.

Remember, the Lakers started 26-13 last year and they have a year of playing together under their belt. Maybe there is some potential here as long as they go with the right lineup.

Lakers running +/- (through 5 games)

Note: I'll update this after every game

Fisher +30
Kobe +35
Turiaf +22
Odom +22
Mihm -13
Walton +23
Bynum +19
Farmar +24
Radmanovic +10
Brown +19
Vujacic -5
Crittenton -5
Cook -26
Evans -10
Karl +4

Check it out: My Daily News article on CSUN basketball vs Chicago State

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