Vlad Provides the Space

Lakers Forward Vladimir Radmanovic’s play so far this post-season can best be described as erratic. In fact most of his season can be described that way.

The big man from Serbia has a tendency to ignite on the quick, but also is prone to prolonged slumps that can frustrate coaches and fans a like. When asked if he had a better idea to what Vladi will bring on a given night, head coach Phil Jackson replied, “Absolutely not.”

Some have wondered why Radmanovic still sees minutes with the first unit given the team’s other options at the small forward slot.

“This is one of the things I’ve been telling him, is that he doesn’t have to be a scorer for us,” said Jackson. “He runs the court well. He makes the spacing much better for that first unit. And ultimately Luke just isn’t a 40-minute guy.”

Radmanovic was a scorer in Game 5, totaling 15-points on 6/11 shooting and making three of his five three-pointers. That kind of play earned him a spot in the lineup during the fourth quarter that he hasn’t seen in a long time, but the matchups helped as well.

“Actually they started Kirilenko at the four during that period and it was a good matchup for us,” continued Jackson. “I’ve used Vladi in situations in the fourth quarter where he’s bailed us out of games with his three-point shooting and I thought it might be one of those kind of games.”