Three Games In

Kurt —  October 16, 2006

Three preseason games matter about as much as a politician’s promise, and the game against Phoenix Sunday was particularly hard to base any big-picture thoughts on because of the lineups used. Still, everything is starting to come into a little better focus, and here’s what’s rattling around in my head:

Starting 5:

Smush Parker
Kobe Bryant
Luke Walton
Lamar Odom
Kwame Brown

The only surprise here from what the conventional wisdom was pre-camp is Luke over Vlad. This is not about Vlad and his shooting – he’ll be fine and has yet to play off Kobe yet. It’s just that right now Luke is playing too well, looking too confident not to start him. He is earning it.

First guys off the bench:

Vladimir Radmanovic
Maurice Evans

Bringing these two guys off the bench provides some versatility to exploit matchups. You can have Vlad go in for Luke and Evans for Smush and go big. You can have Vlad sub out Kwame and have Evans sub out Luke and go small. Both of these guys has looked okay but still seem to trying to be getting the hang of the new offense and new teammates.

What about backup point guard?

Sasha Vujacic/Jordan Farmar

Shammond Williams had his best game against Phoenix, and Sasha looked good in the one game he played, but Jordan Farmar has been one of the most impressive Lakers in camp. Yes he’s a rookie, yes this is a Phil Jackson team, but Farmar is earning minutes, earning his chance. Bottom line, they all should get some chances and whoever plays the best “D” will get more and more time. But I stand by my prediction that by the end of the season we’ll be seeing more and more Farmar. He could be part of an end-of-the-quarter energy team.

The other bigs:

Ronny Turiaf
Brian Cook
Andrew Bynum

While these guys may see time, how much is unclear and may be decided by matchups night to night. Turiaf had a nice game in Vegas Sunday night, made good defensive rotations, and seems to be working his way into the rotation. We have talked a little on this site about whether Cook or Turiaf will be the back-up four — they might actually play well together, with Turiaf as the “center” and Cook the four. Bynum will play some, he had his best game of the preseason against Phoenix but how much duty he gets may depend on matchups.


Aaron McKie
Chris Mihm

Mihm is injured so I just put him here for now but when healthy and in shape he’ll get minutes. Aaron McKie has looked okay, but as good as Devin Green? I’d still rather give the roster spot to the young guy with a future.