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Lakers scrimmage shows potential of several skilled big men

October 04, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers power forward Pau Gasol works his way inside against Rockets power forward Greg Smith.
Lakers power forward Pau Gasol works his way inside against Rockets power… (Jae C. Hong / Associated…)

The Lakers play their first exhibition game on Saturday night in Ontario against the Golden State Warriors.

In the meantime, the team has been preparing at the Lakers practice facility with intra-squad scrimmages.

On Thursday, the Lakers posted an Instagram clip, and a longer form video, giving a glimpse of what to expect this season.

The first play in the Instagram clip shows Chris Kaman setting a screen for Steve Nash. Jordan Hill, on the defensive team, leaves Kaman to pick up Nash.

Defensively, Robert Sacre is forced to switch on to Kaman, who had rolled to the basket -- leaving Pau Gasol wide open to hit a shot right above the free throw line.

In the second clip, Nash passes the ball to a trailing Kaman. Sacre, as the defensive center, is too far into the paint to cover Kaman, who shoots another jumper just above the free throw line.

In both cases, the Lakers are taking advantage of two skilled shooters at the power position -- each with open, comfortable looks at the basket.

It will be interesting to see how the Lakers fare against opposition. Coach Mike D'Antoni has yet to settle on a rotation but there are some clear advantages to having Gasol and Kaman on the floor together.

Given Dwight Howard wasn't a threat away from the basket, the Lakers find they're more versatile offensively with Kaman. Spacing should be significantly improved.

On the other hand, the team may suffer without Howard's skill defensively.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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