Lakers News: Chris Kaman Is Not The Biggest Fan Of Small Ball

Lakers News: Chris Kaman Is Not The Biggest Fan Of Small Ball

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Kaman returned to Lakers practice yesterday after missing nine days with a stomach virus. Kaman, like Nash, will play in tomorrow’s season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers, but is still unsure on whether he’ll start.

Shawne Williams has been starting in his place while he dealt with his illness, which begged the question of how often the Lakers would go with small-ball lineups. Head coach Mike D’Antoni has played with smaller lineups throughout his coaching career, and used them in the Lakers last two preseason games against the Jazz with success. According to the LA Daily News, Kaman, hasn’t been the biggest fan of smaller lineups.

“It was never my style of basketball,” Kaman said. “I remember playing against Phoenix back in the day with those smaller lineups. It was hard to guard those teams. We’ll see. It depends defensively who we’ll go against. Against DeAndre [Jordan] and Blake [Griffin], it’ll be hard to go small, but we’ll see.”

For the home opener against the Clippers, playing smaller lineups can get them destroyed on the boards as both Griffin and Jordan have become apt rebounders. That part of the game had been an issue throughout the whole preseason and will continue to be a problem for the Lakers as they’ve lost one of the game’s best rebounders in Dwight Howard.

The advantage of going small-ball would be that it can speed up the game for a team that is going to have to score in bunches and it has allowed the Lakers to extend their defense and create turnovers, which was a huge key in the Lakers two wins to close out the preseason.

Whether Kaman sees himself in small lineups tomorrow remains to be seen, but it’s something that we’ll have to keep an eye on.

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  • meep

    i think mike d know what to do, he will go small when we need to and will go big when we need to. he not just going to stick to one style i can see him mixing it up.

    • Frank Dominik

      Really? He was sure hell bent on not “mixing it up” last year, he even went on the record saying he wasn’t going to change his style, that the players had to change theirs..

      • meep

        but that was last season, if he wouldnt change his style, he wouldnt have gave kaman and pau a chance to start together. so things will change and you will see the lakers go big at times or heck you might see kaman and pau even start together since we dont know who the PF is yet

        • Daryl Peek

          Excellent non biased observations!! More Laker fans need to be open minded like this!

      • Golteb

        I think Jeremy is right, so many things have changed since last season. IMO, Mike D was pressured by the FO to make princess Dwighty happy. I know winning Championships is priority but there is also a business side to it. They wanted Dwighty to be the new face of the franchise so they did everything to make him stay, even sacrifice Pau and Mike D’s coaching decisions. They thought the Lakers would pull through like they did while Shaq and Kobe were having issues…and they almost did! If everyone stayed healthy and Kobe didn’t get hurt, I think we really had a chance towards the last stretch of the season. And now with the princess happy in another palace, they can all focus on more important things–like Kobe’s 6th ring! Maybe we won’t win this year but like Drano to a clogged sink, the Rockets helped us remove the hindrance to smooth flow.

        • Joseph Apohen

          I am glad the princess is in another palace. He could never be the face of the franchise. He does not have what it takes. Kobe is global and tha’t what it takes.

      • hookedonnews

        That is not true. Steve Nash said they never played D’Antoni’s system last season. Don’t believe everything you hear.

  • Daryl Peek

    Kaman is spot on! And of course he’s not a small ball fan, that puts him on the bench, LOL.

    I was wrong about Johnson at the 4 off the bench against the Jazz. I still cringe at that going forward but I’ll give MDA room for experiment as that’s all the season is at this point. Trial and error is the only way to work the kinks and bugs out.

  • boccs5

    I just dread the nash and blake back court

  • meep

    to be real lakers arent build to be a big team a side from pau and kaman were not that big upfront. so there will be times where if you like it or not lakers will play small, but i bet you in times of need mike will use pau and kaman at the same time. i say who cares if were playing big or playing small. as long as were playing defense we will be fine

  • BANO

    Why do they have to play small ball? Obviously the clippers would love that pace. Pau and Chris can never catch DJ and BG in an open floor..

  • Legend

    should have waived meeks,shawne will,kelly and sign odom,gooden



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  • hookedonnews

    I think that a lot of people who made comments before the Clippers game have discovered that the Lakers have a coach who knows what he’s doing and some players who have bought into his system 110%. That was so much fun to watch. Everybody thought the Clippers were going to blow us off the floor. We have gotten no respect, and it will take more than one win to change the minds of the so-called experts. I don’t know what this season holds, but this win was great!

    • Paytc

      I agree with you just about 100 %. I personally had the Clippers favored by double digits, but my heart was always with the Lakers. I think MDA ‘s willingness to trust the bench players many of which are superb athletes was the key to tonights victory. I would not have guessed the coach would have enough courage to put the most athletic on the floor and step out of the way to let them play. The fact that we have some guys with heart,athleticism,and skill coming off the bench should loom big for the Lakers this season.

      That was an example of what I call “STEPPING UP” to take the game from the so call favorite team. We can not read into it too much, it was just one game. We have to buckle up and work hard to grind out some more wins ,one game at a time. Go Lakers !