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LAKERS FYI

Lakers' big guys could share playing time

Coach Phil Jackson is open to a frontcourt including the 7-foot Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol and 6-10 Lamar Odom.

October 16, 2009|Mike Bresnahan

LAS VEGAS — The e-mails have trickled in at a steady pace to writers who cover the Lakers: Will Phil Jackson ever play Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom at the same time?

It might finally happen.

The Lakers' coach is open to the idea of a frontcourt with two 7-footers and the 6-10 Odom.

"I think that we're very capable of playing like that," Jackson said Thursday. "We have to work on transition defense, obviously, but we know that's a weapon that we could use this year."

Jackson has never used such a lineup since Gasol was acquired in February 2008. It would probably be situational, employed against bigger frontcourts.

The pluses are obvious -- size down low on offense and defense. The minuses are also obvious -- a lack of defensive speed.

"Transition-wise, if you have those young burners out there that can race the ball up the court -- to get back and stop the ball, that'll be something we'll have to work on," Jackson said.

Bynum continued to put up big numbers in exhibition play, scoring 24 points in the Lakers' 98-92 victory Thursday over the Sacramento Kings at Thomas & Mack Center.

Bynum is now averaging 22.3 points in three exhibition games.

Kobe Bryant had 18 points and the play of the game, a between-the-legs bounce pass to a cutting Lamar Odom for a first-quarter dunk.

Odom got kicked in the right shin late in the second quarter and left the game. The injury is not considered serious. Luke Walton sat out because of a sore back and Gasol was sidelined by a strained right hamstring.

Ron Artest stood up quickly when an apparently inebriated fan tapped him on the back and tried to talk to him from behind the bench in the final minutes of the game. The fan, beer cup in hand and wearing a Lakers shirt, was whisked away by security and removed from the arena.

Vegas, baby

The Lakers did it all during their 32-hour stay in Las Vegas -- a pool party with sponsors, a club party with Odom and Bryant as the featured hosts and a victory over the Kings.

Jackson, on the other hand, took the more mellow approach.

"I'm not going to speak badly about Las Vegas, as much as I'd like to," he said. "The activity level here, you just have that vibe where the sleep's not very good. But the hotel, the Mirage, puts me up in a great place. I just did laps in my pool. The pool's 10 feet long, but I did a lot of laps [Thursday] afternoon, laid out in the sun."

Did he hit the casino?

"I've had my time in gambling and it's mostly in basketball games," he said.

Wait, what?

"With the players' time," Jackson said. "Do I put Jordan [Farmar] in? Do I put Shannon [Brown] in? Do I put Sasha [Vujacic] in?"

Winter time

After the championship was won in Orlando, the parade debris was swept up in downtown Los Angeles and the players concluded their exit meetings in El Segundo, Jackson was finally able to visit Tex Winter.

The longtime Lakers consultant suffered a stroke in April and was recovering in Oregon when Jackson came to see him with an armful of Lakers championship gear.

Winter, 87, is expected to take a brief break from his rehabilitation and attend the Lakers' championship ring ceremony Oct. 27 against the Clippers.

"It'll be nice to have him back," Jackson said. "I hope everybody understands what a difficult process he's gone through. You guys probably won't have him on radio or TV, but it'll be good for him to be in the company of the coaches and see some tape with us and do some things that we do. He has that basketball [mind-set] ingrained, and he'll diagram stuff still, but his speaking is coming back slowly, so that's the difficult part."

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mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan

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