It’s early still. Way too early to tell anything, though the potential is certainly there. Players coming off the court practically drool over what this year’s Lakers team could develop into.
At one point durring Saturday’s scrimmage, the Lakers went with a lineup of Kobe Bryant (6-foot-6), Trevor Ariza (6-foot-8), Lamar Odom (6-10), Pau Gasol (7-0) and Andrew Bynum (7-0)
“When we had our arms out, you couldn’t even see the paint,” Bryant said before Monday morning’s practice. “There’s just so much length.”
Still, it’s far from a finished product, and before anyone starts talking about potential or Twin Towers or a return trip the NBA Finals, coach Phil Jackson laid out a word of caution.
When asked how the Bynum and Gasol pairing has worked out thus far, Jackson seemed less than impressed.
“It depends on how they work together,” he said. “Right now they’re very clumsy, they’re not working well together. We’ve got a group that played together very well last year, there’s some things we have to discuss and see how long we drag this out and how quickly we can facilitate it. Because I think we have the ability to play exceptionally well if we use all our skill and all our talented players.”
Now, whether that was an honest evaluation, an attempt to motivate Gasol and/or Bynum, something in between or a little bit of both is hard to determine. It is Phil Jackson after all, as much a media master as the Zen Master.
The first public peek at how the new dynamics are playing out comes Tuesday night in a preseason game against Utah at the Honda Center.
Jackson said Bryant would likely play about half the game, Gasol a bit less than that, and 15 players would dress.