So, the Los Angeles Lakers will have yet another different starting lineup tonight when they take on the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center.
According to Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, Pau Gasol will miss yet another game with an upper respiratory infection, though it appears that Chris Kaman (ankle) will be good to go – Kaman is officially being listed as a game-time decision.
Even if Kaman does start, however, it seems that Jordan Hill will start in his place:
[pullquote]Center Pau Gasol remains sidelined with an upper respiratory infection, while center Chris Kaman remains a game-time decision when the Lakers (13-17) host the Philadelphia 76ers (8-20) tonight at Staples Center.
Kaman suffered a moderate sprain in his left ankle in the final minute of the Lakers’ 105-103 loss Friday to the Utah Jazz, but he participated in the team’s morning session.
“That’s encouraging,” But D’Antoni said of Kaman. “He did his stuff. He should be okay. But he’ll warm up tonight and we’ll find out.”
Even if Kaman is cleared to play, D’Antoni said he will likely start Jordan Hill at center.[/pullquote]
While I love Hill as a player, D’Antoni himself has said that he’s best suited as a “spurt” guy off the bench – against Utah, Hill had 16 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists in 23 minutes, while Kaman had a strong game himself, putting up 19 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks in 30 minutes of action.
It would seem that both players had good games, so why change up the lineup again tonight? I guess the team’s four-game losing streak could have something to do with it, and maybe D’Antoni wants to get Hill playing with Jordan Farmar again – remember, that duo had something good going with the second unit earlier in the season.
D’Antoni also told reporters, according to Medina, that it looks like Gasol will be good to go by New Year’s Eve when the Lakers take on the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples.