A STRONG STARTING LINEUP: LA’s starting five -- Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Vladimir Radmanovic, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum -- is among the league’s best. Fisher is a proven winner who makes big shots, works to defends his position, and, thanks to his ability (and willingness) to take charges, gets extra possessions for his team. He’s also a terrific leader, a critical trait for a point guard.
Radmanovic is interesting in that, though a starter, he typically gets 5-7 minutes in the first and third quarters. If he’s playing well, he’ll get additional minutes. If not, Phil Jackson can turn to Lamar Odom, Trevor Ariza or Luke Walton. Depending on the day and the opponent, you could argue that all three are better than Radmanovic.
Though he’s certainly capable of playing center, Gasol is more effective at the four spot. An excellent scorer who can play with his back to the basket and face up from 15-19 feet, Pau can play with more finesse when he’s at the power forward position. He’s also one of the best passers in the league among big men.
Bynum, already the best young center in the NBA, improves every day. Had he not been injured, his presence likely would have changed the outcome of the title series last year.
And, finally, there’s Kobe, arguably the NBA’s best player. Not a bad way to round out a lineup.