NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers: Projected Starting Lineup In 2013

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Los Angeles Lakers Projected Starting Lineup In 2013

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With many new faces joining the Los Angeles Lakers in 2013, there are a couple of positions up for grabs. With the absence of Dwight Howard and Metta World Peace, both forward positions are vacant. For many new additions, Training Camp is going to strengthen or even weaken their case for a bigger role.

With new players that will fit Mike D’Antoni’s system, expect things to run smoothly this time around. Last season, the team lacked athleticism and shooting ability for D’Antoni’s offense to truly work its magic. With Kurt Rambis specializing in defense, D’Antoni will spend all of his time working on offense. When D’Antoni’s system is run properly, it can be tough to beat. The Lakers know first-hand that beating D’Antoni’s up-tempo offense can be difficult at times.

With Steve Nash declining, many analysts believe it will never work in Los Angeles. Nash is declining for sure, but D’Antoni has never had Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol within the system to compliment Nash. When fully healthy, the core of Nash, Bryant, and Gasol could be tough to beat regardless of their age. All three players have proved that their game has translated well into old age, so age isn't as big as an issue as it would be for other players.

Like in 2012, the Lakers will boast a new looking lineup. The roster will consist of familiar faces and new faces as well. We will see a group that will push the ball up and down the court with ease.

Can the Lakers win a championship in 2013? We will have to wait and see, but if anyone can battle back from adversity, it’s the Los Angeles Lakers.

Nugesse Ghebrendrias is a Sports writer for Follow him on Twitter @NugasayWhat24, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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PG Steve Nash #10

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With Nash healthy and multiple capable backups behind him, the Lakers point guard position is in good hands. With the ability to play Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar as bench players, Nash won’t have to go out and play 40 minutes a game. With smart management, Nash will be able to stay fresh and avoid injury in 2013. When healthy, Nash will be able to run D’Antoni’s offense and he will be able to spot up on open perimeter shots as well. If D’Antoni can avoid over using Nash, the Lakers can be strong at the point guard position.

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SG Kobe Bryant #24

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After numerous reports of being way ahead of schedule, expect Bryant to be the starting shooting guard. With Nick Young coming off the bench, he will be able to take some of the load of Bryant’s shoulders during the season. The Lakers haven’t had a backup shooting guard like Young in a long time. His ability to score will give the Lakers and edge throughout the season. With advances in medical technology, athletes are coming back stronger than ever from serious injuries. If Bryant can come back strong again, the Lakers back court could be solid in 2013.

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SF Wesley Johnson #2

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Now that World Peace is gone, the Lakers need a good lengthy perimeter defender to man the small forward position. That position will be filled by Wesley Johnson. Johnson isn't known for his scoring but he is a good defender. His ability to shoot the three is also another reason why he will get the starting job. Johnson will be able to guard multiple positions as well which will help both Nash and Bryant. If Johnson can shoot consistency behind the arc, he could be a big contributor to the team in 2013.

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PF Jordan Hill #27

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sportsts

With the lack of big-time players at the power forward position, the Lakers must find a new starter. Luckily, he is already on the team. Jordan Hill could see his game expand in 2013 as a stretch four. He will be asked to step back and shoot the ball and occasionally play in the paint. Now that he is finally healthy, the scrappy power forward will infuse youth and athleticism back into the Lakers starting lineup. With his ability to clean up the glass, expect Hill and Gasol to work well together.

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C Pau Gasol #16

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the last year of his contract, Gasol is ready to step up. After going through minor knee surgery after the playoffs, Gasol will be ready for the start training camp. He finally has a full summer’s rest and he has set his sights on showing the Lakers and the fans that he can still produce at a very high level. Gasol may not have a quick first step anymore, but his skills translate well into older age. Now that Gasol is primarily in the paint, he will see an increase in touches and the Lakers will see a decrease in wasted possessions. With Howard gone, expect the Lakers to go down low much more.