Jul 24, 2014; El Segundo, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak introduces Jeremy Lin during a press conference at Toyota Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Starting Lineup Revealed

Perusing sports message boards can be fun.  There are plenty of Laker message boards with numerous die-hard fans.  I have been a moderator of Lakersground.net for over a decade, and nothing ceases to amaze me.

Carlos Boozer was meeting with Mitch Kupchak in this photo.  The Laker white board had some writing on it.  It almost looks like a lineup from afar.

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But upon further inspection, this was found.

 

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Ladies and gentleman, there’s your starting line up.  Credit to “LIN17” for bringing attention to the photos on the message board.  The Laker starting lineup includes Jeremy Lin, Kobe Bryant, Nick Young, Carlos Boozer, and Jordan Hill.  No, Carlos Boozer won’t be playing small forward.  Notice how Jordan Clarkson is specifically under the point guard column, while Xavier Henry is under the shooting guard column.  Wesley Johnson is projected to back up Nick Young at the small forward spot.  The power forward column is loaded.  Carlos Boozer starts at that position.  Ryan Kelly and Ed Davis are the substitutes.  Julius Randle is caught between the small forward and power forward columns.  At center, Jordan Hill is projected to start while Robert Sacre backs him up.

Personally, I’m surprised at the decision-making behind this list.  I completely agree with Clarkson at the point guard slot.  He isn’t the same aggressive player when he plays off-the-ball at the shooting guard slot.  I think Nick Young was awarded the starting small forward slot as a tie-in to his new Laker contract. Nick Young struggled as a starter last year, but excelled coming off the bench.  At the same time though, Nick Young excelled scoring-wise playing next to Kobe Bryant last season.

Ed Davis plays both the power forward and center positions, but isn’t projected to be a center.  Xavier Henry plays more like a small forward than Nick Young does, considering his slashing style of basketball.

The starting lineup I’d prefer to see is Jeremy Lin, Kobe Bryant, Wesley Johnson, Carlos Boozer, and Robert Sacre.  Robert Sacre can start the game and provide initial toughness in the paint.  Over the course of the game, Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, and Carlos Boozer can all rotate at the center position as needed.  With a four-headed monster at center, Julius Randle can get extended time at the power forward slot behind Carlos Boozer.

I prefer that Wesley Johnson actually starts over Nick Young.  It would balance out the starting lineup more with Wesley Johnson as a “three-and-D” player between Lin, Bryant, and Boozer.  Nick Young and Xavier Henry can provide great energy, aggression, and great scoring punch with extended minutes off the bench.  I also think that Nick Young and Xavier Henry complement each other in the halfcourt.  Henry likes to slash to the basket at will.  Young likes to create shots in isolation from the perimeter.  That gives the Lakers two players that can breakdown defenders in isolation situations when necessary.

Decisions will be made definitively over the course of training camp and as Coach Byron Scott sees fit.

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