When you have a team that has undergone roster upheaval, coaches may have an idea of what roles they want guys to fill, but practices and exhibition games change that perspective. Just ask Coach K about Kenneth Faried, for example.
New Lakers’ coach Byron Scott has his plans — start the veterans, bring the young guys off the bench.
Training camp doesn’t open for three weeks but that is the way Scott is leaning, he told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News in an interview Lakers fans should read all of. As for those starters…
Kobe Bryant is an obvious no-brainer, his Hall of Fame credentials vastly outweighing playing only six games last season because of overlapping left Achilles and left knee injuries. Scott reported favoring Steve Nash over Jeremy Lin at point guard, Carlos Boozer over Julius Randle at power forward and Jordan Hill over Robert Sacre at center, a product Scott feeling currently more comfortable with experienced veterans over young, developing players.
Even at this point, however, Scott said he feels “still kind of torn on who starts at small forward. He reported leaning toward Wesley Johnson because of his athleticism, while relying on Nick Young’s prolific scoring off the bench after averaging last season a career-high 17.9 points per game. Yet, Scott carries some question marks on Johnson, whose 9.1 points per game averaged featured promising defensive performances mixed in with disappearing acts.
Somebody is throwing a bone out to the veterans.
This is obviously a case where Scott needs to let camp dictate things, but I like his thinking.
Young is a vintage sixth man — an unrepentant gunner who will change the tempo and texture of the game by his fearless shot taking. He will get his points, and you know Swaggy P will fire up the crowd.
Lin did well off the bench for the Rockets last season, he wants to play up tempo and attack off the pick-and-roll, which should fit well with Randle.
If kept like this, the Lakers second unit should be entertaining. It will put up points. The question with them is the same question the entire Lakers team will face this season — can they stop anyone? Probably not, but at least it will be a good show.