Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, the three big men so crucial to L.A.’s consecutive championships, will likely find themselves starting together for the first time since Gasol came over in February of 2008.
While Phil Jackson declined to definitively state who would replace Ron Artest — suspended for one game after a blow to the head of J.J. Barea in L.A.’s Game 2 loss to Dallas — in the starting line up, Odom said he thinks it will be him after the team’s Friday morning shootaround.
This past season, the three bigs have played together for less than three minutes … total … but in a hugely important Game 3 with the Lakers trying to dig themselves out of a 2-0 hole, Jackson appears to be putting his best players on the floor for as much time as possible.
A major reason Jackson hasn’t tinkered with that (huge) lineup before is his preference to ensure that at least two of the three bigs remain on the floor at all times, which is more difficult from a rotation standpoint when the three start. But assistant coach Brian Shaw said in this game, the bench rotation may not be effected too much, as Odom could just play more minutes.
In other words, Odom can open the game with the starters in a bit more of a guard role with Bryant looking to attack more from a wing position, but still do his usual thing with the second unit once guys like Matt Barnes and Shannon Brown check in.
As if we needed any more intrigue heading into Game 3.