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LAKERS' REPORT : Forget the Sights, Harris Likes What He Sees

October 14, 1994|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER

HONOLULU — Del Harris has seen some of what he wanted to in his visit to the vacation paradise of Hawaii.

"Hawaii is obviously a bus, a gym and a hotel," the Laker coach said. "I thought it was palm trees and huge waves and girls in grass skirts. I haven't seen any of that."

What he has seen is a successful running game. He had been noncommittal about the Lakers' signature offense before coming to Honolulu, but after a week of training camp, he has seen enough speed, with the addition of newcomers Cedric Ceballos and Eddie Jones, enough smart play at point guard by an improved Nick Van Exel and enough defense to agree to go full throttle.

"I came here looking to see if it would work," Harris said. "We wanted to run, but there has to be a willingness among players and a reaction when the ball changes. The guys have shown a willingness to do that.

"We're going to run every chance we get, I'll say that. Certainly at home. On the road, I may like to slow it down a bit to take the crowds out of the game. You don't want to get in an up-and-down style in some places."

The next stage, and perhaps the most important, is exhibition play, so the Lakers can get a gauge on their rebounding, another key to a running game. That starts in Honolulu tonight, with the first of consecutive meetings with the Sacramento Kings at Blaisdell Center.

*

Things are suddenly looking uncluttered at shooting guard, where Doug Christie is gone after being traded to the New York Knicks and Sedale Threatt is practically gone after spending most of his time the past week at point guard, where he is now projected as a backup to Van Exel.

"He's an ideal third guard," Harris said of Threatt. "At this point, I see the move to point guard because he can do that and he has experience there and we have so many off guards that we need him more to play point guard."

That creates competition at shooting guard among Anthony Peeler, Eddie Jones and Tony Smith, with Peeler and Jones the probable finalists for the starting job.

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