If Kobe’s Out, Which Lakers Five Will Start The Season?
Possible Lineup #2: Run & Fun
- PG: Steve Nash
- SG: Steve Blake
- SF: Nick Young
- PF: Wesley Johnson/Shawne Williams
- C: Pau Gasol
This possible lineup may seem a bit far-fetched, but let’s think about it for a second. Mike D’Antoni likes point guards. Actually, he loves point guards, and loves to let them run the show.
In 13 games as a starter toward the end of last season, Steve Blake averaged 10.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists with eFG% of 56.5. Additionally, Blake and Nash really seemed to click and play well together. I can certainly see Blake picking up where he left off last season, and D’Antoni encouraging him to do so. Starting Blake would allow Jordan Farmar to get on the floor as well.
As for the small forward slot, D’Antoni could go with Nick Young if he really wants to go with his best offensive lineup. Many would say, “That’s great, that’ll provide offense on the wings to go along with a strong inside presence featuring Gasol and either Hill or Kaman.” Sure, but if you’re D’Antoni, why stop at Nash, Blake, and Young? Why not keep the “small ball” theme going and try to use a less traditional power forward in favor of someone who can play as a “stretch four” instead?
Wesley Johnson and Shawne Williams could be experimented in this role. Elias Harris (although he’s not guaranteed to receive a contract and didn’t shoot the long ball well last season at Gonzaga) could also be experimented here, but is very unlikely to start.
Wesley Johnson could see some time as a “stretch four,” but I wouldn’t count on it for too long — especially if he’s guarding bigger, stronger forwards in the post.
As mentioned earlier, a variation of this lineup and the Traditional one was used with Shawne Williams at the four slot on Sunday, and given his overall length and athleticism along with the potential to shoot well from the outside, he very well could be the best candidate to fill the stretch four role if retained by the team.
One possible benefit of Run & Fun is that you’d see Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill likely come off the bench and into the game together. Personally, with Kaman’s outside range and Hill’s supposed improvement of his outside shot coupled with each player’s knack for rebounding and battling in the paint, I think the two could play quite well together.
However, I’d rather see one of them start alongside Pau Gasol and the other get solid minutes off the bench.
Next Page: Lineup #3 – Defense First