Given the recent success Chris Kaman has experienced when given playing time, many wondered why Kaman didn’t get off the bench more often or start alongside Pau Gasol. In the final game that Gasol missed due to vertigo, Kaman started and scored a season-high 28 points.
When Gasol returned to the lineup on Tuesday, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni gave the two 7-footers an opportunity start together. Kaman scored 12 points on 6-of-16 from the field and Gasol scored nine points on 4-of-9 from the field.
According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, their play tonight did not sit well with either of the big men, and Kaman admitted the pairing did not work well tonight:
Both Pau Gasol & Chris Kaman admitted that their duo tonight did not work well together. "I didn't think it went that well" – Kaman
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) April 2, 2014
Kaman didn’t shoot well, which he believed may have impacted how the Portland Trail Blazers played defense. The two centers have similar skill sets, with each capable of scoring from the post or with a midrange jumper. In some instances that can prove to be effective, but when one struggles from the outside, as Kaman did, it can also lead to the defense stuffing the interior, which Kaman alluded to the Blazers doing.
Kaman has voiced his displeasure with how the season has gone on several occasions and his admission that he and Gasol didn’t quite fit well together is a change from the comments he’s previously made, which were often directed towards D’Antoni.
More times than not, Kaman has been a casualty of D’Antoni shuffling his rotations in an effort to find the best lineup, which has resulted in several games where Kaman didn’t log a minute of action.
Though the duo didn’t fare well tonight, D’Antoni said after the game that it’s likely he’ll attempt starting the two big men alongside each other tomorrow night. Hopefully, Pau Gasol, who said he had a rough time in his first game back from vertigo, will be able to play tomorrow.
Chris Kaman Speaks Out On Mike D’Antoni, This Year And The System