All week long, our staff writers will chime in on a series of topics, rumors and storylines leading up to the start of the season. In today’s edition of State of the Nation, our writers highlight which player has surprised them the most thus far:
Felipe Amaral // @F_Amaral
Chris Kaman. He displayed great chemistry with Pau Gasol right off the bat and that looks to be a good building block for the team in the upcoming season. The Lakers have had success in recent years with two skilled seven-footers sharing the court and that might happen again with Gasol and Kaman.
Jordan Grant // @JordanGrant90
Xavier Henry has been the biggest surprise this preseason. Perhaps it’s more surprising that I’ve never seen a player refuse to pass the ball under any circumstances. Nevertheless, he has proven that he has some great skills and can be a valuable asset to the team. Hopefully Kobe, of all people, can teach him a thing or two about sharing the rock.
Jon Gaffer // @jewelslamo
Steve Nash has surprised me the most in the preseason. He’s already nursing injuries. I thought he would at least get about 15 games under his belt before he blew a tire.
Mark Awad // @MarkeyTheBoss_
No doubt Chris Kaman. Averaging nearly a double-double in the preseason, Kaman seems to have found his groove with fellow big Pau Gasol. No attitude or demand from Kaman, he just does as the coaches tell him with no pressure at all.
Robert Benitez // @beeb0
I’ve been impressed with the entire team so far this preseason, but Nick Young tops the list. Young has been a consistent scorer and has moved the ball efficiently, as well. He also has the skill to get to the basket and create shots for himself, as well as his teammates.
Bummi Anderson // @BummiNAnderson
Pau Gasol. Gasol has struggled mightily the last two seasons while accommodating Andrew Bynum & Dwight Howard. His health has also declined, particularly this past season. Gasol has come out this preseason looking healthy and more aggressive, and it has translated into him having a very good preseason.
Oren Levy // @LakersOren
Wesley Johnson. With his length and athleticism, I expected him to succeed early and often in coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. Instead, he looked hesitant in early preseason action before injuring his foot and missing time.
Alex Lambeth // @AlexLambeth
Chris Kaman. Kaman’s ability to score both inside the paint and from the mid-range has particularly surprised me. Also, his ability to mesh with Pau Gasol has been a welcomed sight thus far. Perhaps Kaman has been injured these past few years, because he certainly looks like the productive Kaman of old.
Garrett Garcia // @GarrettGarcia
Chris Kaman. Kaman has come into his own with the Lakers and is playing a solid role as center. He comes without the drama and superstar treatment Howard demanded, and he goes out and plays hard, doing what the coaching staff asks of him.
Melvin Taylor // @MelvinTaylorII
The player that has surprised me most this preseason is Chris Kaman. Playing alongside Gasol has looked almost effortless for him. There will be defensive lapses because of their ages, however, they could become a great duo if Kaman continues to elevate his game.
Next Question Tomorrow: What are your thoughts on Kobe Bryant being ranked as the NBA’s 25th best player by ESPN, and what type of season do you see him having?