As the Los Angeles Lakers struggle to find a rhythm on offense and defense while they wait for superstar Kobe Bryant to return from his Achilles injury, coach Mike D’Antoni will be mixing up the starting lineup again.
The Lakers head to Texas on Thursday night to play the Houston Rockets, and Shawne Williams will be hitting the bench where he belongs in favor of Chris Kaman getting his first start for the Purple and Gold. Kaman will likely still be bogged down in a rotation that included heavy minutes from Jordan Hill, but will finally get his starting chance and his chance to either put up or shut up.
Since Kaman started alongside Pau Gasol in the Lakers’ frontcourt rotation during the preseason, he has been fairly vocal about wanting to start alongside the Spaniard. He’s also been vocal about how him starting will give the Lakers a better chance to win, and he will get his chance to prove his worth against a very tough Rockets team.
The Rockets start a frontcourt of defensive powerhouses Dwight Howard and Omer Asik, and the slow-footed Gasol and Kaman are going to have their hands full this evening.
On a few extra minutes of playing time, Kaman should have a solid outing tonight, but it still isn’t going to “fix” the Lakers’ multitude of problems this season. Regardless of what Kaman produces tonight, the Lakers’ franchise still revolves around when Bryant returns to the hardwood and if he can play at 100 percent. It is still unknown if Bryant will need to make changes to his game or if he will fully recover, and the Lakers’ hopes rely on that fact. The good news is Bryant should be back by Thanksgiving.
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