With the NBA restarting December 22nd, the Lakers had a little more than two months of break off basketball.
Despite all of that, the team made several moves to improve their roster.
Now, with short rest and various new players, the team will have to figure out their new rotation while they are trying to repeat as NBA champions.
How can the Lakers starting lineup look like?
In the starting lineup, we have three certainties. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kentevious Caldwell-Pope are the three members of the starting lineup from last year’s championship team that came back. So we can expect them to be back starting, especially James and Davis.
Now, the remaining two spots have various options to fill.
At Center, it’s a two-man race between Marc Gasol and Six-Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell. We can expect Harrell to maintain his role as a six-man, as Gasol provides spacing and three-point shooting in a lineup that needs it because of James and Davis’ characteristics.
The remaining spot in the starting lineup is the biggest question. Dennis Schröder, one of the new acquisitions this offseason, said publicly that he wanted to be in the starting lineup this season. Now, Schröder is definitely capable of starting, but the question here is about fit. Schröder is a point guard, a role that LeBron James did to perfection last season.
Will the Lakers shake things up and allow Schröder to share the ball with James? Or will they go with a player with similar characteristics to Danny Green?
In that case, the Lakers can go with Wesley Matthews. The veteran player joined the Lakers via free agency to fill Green’s role as a 3-and-D player. He can space the floor for James and Davis and it allows LeBron to have the ball in his hands a little more time. Another option is Alex Caruso, who started game 6 of the NBA Finals last season. Caruso plays great with James, and that is shown in their NET rating. The James-Caruso pairing has the highest NET rating of any duo in the NBA, proving they play great together.
One thing that we know for sure is that coach Frank Vogel will change things up when necessary, making changes in the starting lineup and the rotation if the matchup isn’t favorable.
Featured Image: Harry How/AFP