After a couple of weeks of experimenting and tinkering, Lakers coach Phil Jackson finally acknowledged Friday that the five players who started the team's final game last season might be the same five who start this season's first game.
"There's a chance of that," he said.
In fact, it's possible that it could happen as soon as tonight, when the Lakers play Regal FC Barcelona, a Spanish club team, in an exhibition game at Staples Center.
Jackson could play Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher in the backcourt and Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol and Vladimir Radmanovic in the frontcourt.
That's the lineup Jackson used down the stretch and during the playoffs last season when the Lakers won Pacific Division and Western Conference championships before falling to the Boston Celtics in six games in the NBA Finals.
But in the first weeks of training camp, and especially during the first three exhibitions, Jackson has used all manner of combinations.
Bryant played small forward, for instance. Fisher moved from point guard to shooting guard and Odom went from power forward to small forward to point guard. Odom started and then came off the bench as the top reserve.
Gasol played power forward with fellow 7-footer Andrew Bynum playing center.
Gasol and Bynum started together, but also didn't play a second together.