The offseason to this current NBA season brought plenty of questions to Hollywood as the Los Angeles Lakers‘ looked to identify a player who could fill the void left in the frontcourt by Dwight Howard‘s departure. The Lakers then foolishly signed Chris Kaman as though the aging, middling talent of a big man could fill the hole left by one the best, and whiniest, centers in the NBA. Kaman and Jordan Hill spent time throughout the preseason fighting for the minutes next to Pau Gasol and it looked as though Kaman might be handed the starting gig.
Then backtrack to Nov. 12 where Hill showed us the nightly double-double potential he’s always had and was fast tracked into the starting lineup and the minutes that go along with it. Add in Kaman’s back issues and it looks as though Hill will have a permanent lock on the starting power forward position for the remainder of the year, until Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni started to tinker again.
Hill saw six games in a row with over 30 minutes played and was a regular threat for a double-double performance. His athleticism and hustle on the defensive end of the court gelled nicely with the slower-footed Gasol, and the Lakers’ frontcourt looked to have an identity again. Yet, it now seems to D’Antoni is looking to tinker again as Hill has seen his minutes decrease and the coach seems to be displeased with Hill’s recent performance.
Lakers’ fans everywhere should hope that Hill continues to be in the starting lineup as the energy he brings to the floor will be much needed this season. The final Lakers rotation this year will not be known until injured superstar Kobe Bryant returns to the court during the month of December. For now we can all just hope coach MDA stops tinkering.
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