Big man harmony might mean the difference for the Los Angeles Lakers between a total disaster of a season and actually being somewhat playoff contenders once again, even with all the doubts about this team. Kobe Bryant still isn’t playing, only watching from the sidelines, but the developing on-floor relationship between Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman is going to do wonders for the Lakers if it works out.
In their second preseason game, playing in Ontario, the Lakers beat the Denver Nuggets 90-88. Kobe Bryant entered the arena to receive a standing ovation, although he didn’t talk to the media. Without too many focus points, the Gasol-Kaman tandem seemed to be the best thing worth watching, as the two combined for 26 points and 15 rebounds on 11-22 from the field.
Not the best big man duo in the NBA by far, but Kaman being the versatile one in terms of his positioning might enable Gasol to erase the horrible year he had next to Dwight Howard, and unless injuries strike him down once more to a long period of rubbing his knees on the bench, maybe we’ll once again see him as one of the best centers in the NBA.
I’m flexible. I can post up. I can shoot the ball. I can set a ball screen. I can pass the ball. I have good, well-rounded basketball knowledge and skills. I’m not like a superstar, but I’d like to think I do a decent job out there.
Besides Kaman trying to show he can work in the D’Antoni system or whatever’s left of it after being torn to shreds last season (And it doesn’t really matter when Bryant takes the floor), Steve Nash finally started taking some shots, although he’s still very much into a pass-only mode, finishing with 4 points and 5 assists. The most important number in all of this, even if no one is taking it too seriously, is the Lakers starters all finishing between a -1 and -5 during their time on the court.
Steve Blake had an impressive production from the bench, scoring 16 points (8 of them coming from the line). Blake might start seeing some time as shooting guard this season when he comes off the bench, especially if the Lakers plan on making Farmar (who didn’t play), as the main backup point guard for Steve Nash. Both options aren’t that great, but at least with Nick Young they have a decent scoring option to come in and give Kobe Bryant some rest.