Daily News: Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol will play together for the first time tonight in the Lakers’ exhibition opener at the Honda Center.

Kobe Bryant will shift from shooting guard to small forward. Derek Fisher will move from point guard to shooting guard. Lamar Odom will go from small forward to point guard.

Or more accurately, Odom will move from power forward to point guard, bypassing his anticipated role as a small forward as Lakers coach Phil Jackson begins his promised starting lineup experiments during the eight-game exhibition season.

Jackson’s tinkering would make for compelling theater on its own, but there’s the added bonus of the Lakers hitting the court for the first time since their humiliating 39-point loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last June.

Could this be the most anticipated exhibition game in recent Lakers’ history?

Jackson’s training camp shuffling certainly has piqued the interest of his players.

Bryant, for one, said he is looking forward to watching 7-footers Bynum and Gasol playing together tonight against the Utah Jazz.

Continue reading ‘Lakers shuffle off to first exhibition contest’

  • Jonathan

    what da f*???
    odom pg??

  • Zen Master

    Yes, Jonathan, Odom will be tried as a point guard. His size and length will make up for his slower speed against other point guards. To add to that, the position shifts will mostly be for offense most of the time. They’ll just go with what ever is are the best matchups on defense, obviously. For example, if the Lakers were playing the Spurs, Odom would have to post up or facilitate the ball against Tony Parker and guard Tim Duncan on defense. This strategy is still a question mark.

    Although Odom might seem like a slow small forward to many people, let’s not go that far. Small forwards are either really athletic medium-sized players or just some shooter. If you think of all the established small forwards out there, Odom doesn’t really struggle at the SPEED category. What matters is whether he “slides” his feet. Think of Kirilenko, Stojakovic, Posey, Hill, Sczerbiak, Josh Howard, Artest, Battier, and so on. Those aren’t lightning quick SFs. They may be fast as SF, but not too fast for a guy like Odom. Then there are a few that can’t be stopped like Anthony, LBJ, Carter, and who ever I’m missing.

    So what puzzles me in the end is why people worry that LO will have a hard time being slower than other SF. At least 3/5 of all well-known SFS aren’t even that fast. We now know he won’t be play much defense on SFs anyway. If he has to, he’ll go against SFs with average speed (which most of them are). If they are trouble, Kobe will take them. If Kobe rests, you got Ariza and Sun Yue the Monkey King.