A common question throughout training camp will be who starts alongside Pau Gasol. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni has yet to delve into specifics, but noted how both Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman could complement the 7-foot Spaniard.
“Pau can play with anybody,” D’Antoni said. “He’s so skilled that he makes everybody look good with his passing. You can play Jordan who is more of a runner and slasher or you can play Kaman who is more of a catch-and-shoot kind of guy. They’ll all fit in real well together.”
Hill, who underwent surgery on his left hip and missed 53 games last year, noted he’s more confident in his jump shot from 15-17 feet now, but will largely focus on what he’s provided for the team in limited playing time.
“Pau and Chris are great, great big men,” Hill said. “They can score. I’m not looking to score as much as they are. I’m going to still do what I’ve been doing since I’ve been here – rebounding, defending, a lot of energy and running the floor.”
The focus hasn’t just been on the offensive side of the ball, but also on the other end. Looking ahead, the coaching staff believes it’ll be a collective effort this season, and Hill remains optimistic everybody is up for the challenge.
“We just have to help each other out,” Hill said. “That was our problem last season. Not everybody was on the same page last season. We just have to buckle down this year.”
As for Kaman, he’s a career 48.5 percent shooter, and someone who can space the floor. Last season in Dallas, Kaman converted on 51.4 percent of his shots from 15-19 feet. But with three practices under their belt, the Michigan native doesn’t foresee how the three bigs will mesh just yet and doesn’t want to get too ahead of himself.
“At this point, it’s still undetermined what the lineups are going to be,” Kaman said. “Who knows what the lineup will be, who knows if we’ll go big or small. For me, learning this offense is an adjustment. A lot of my stuff has been slow down and half court. This is more transition, open court, pick-and-roll, dives. There’s going to be an adjustment period for a lot of guys, but I feel pretty comfortable so far.”