Do you feel it?
That tingle in your stomach that tells you the dark days of the NBA offseason are almost done?
It’s either that or I need to see a doctor, but with training camp less than a week away, I’ll assume I’m okay.
All the offseason moves are done for the most part (let’s see what happens with Jimmy Butler) and now coaching staffs will begin the process of finalizing their lineups and minutes distribution. There are a ton of articles out there that discuss what the Lakers’ starting lineup should be, but I wanted to give a preview of what some of my favorite lineup combinations will be this season.
The Lakers have a really fun roster this year, giving Luke Walton the opportunity to play many different styles to fit specific situations. Here are my four favorite five-man combos that the Lakers can play this season and what I plan to call them in future blogs and tweets.
I think in this day and age, you can assume most people know at least a little bit about the Game of Thrones series. But basically, I am naming this lineup “The Targeryans” because I believe these players represent the future of the Lakers’ dynasty.
Sure, the Lakers are not a finished product now, but if all four of the Lakers’ pillar young guys reach their full potential, there is no reason why this lineup will be the last men standing in the field of fire and ash that the NBA will be in order for the Lakers to regain control as the league’s premiere team.
I honestly think that this lineup, if each of the youngins takes that next big step, can defend the Warriors and beat them.
The Sun Tzu Lineup
Sun Tzu was a fifth century BCE Chinese general, master tactician and author of “The Art of War.” His book teaches that there is a time and place for every type of strategy, whether is it to be more aggressive or conservative in war.
An offense isn’t always set plays and sometimes you just need players who know what the right play is and when to use it. This lineup features five players who are above average playmakers. When all five guys on a court can dribble and make the right pass with ease, it will drive opposing defenses crazy.
My favorite part about this lineup is that with Ingram playing some point guard last year when Ball was injured, every player in this lineup has experience running an offense at the NBA level.
I did not come up with this name, but I will definitely start using it when this lineup is on the floor. Not many people saw the movies, so if you don’t know, the Suicide Squad is a team of bad guy superhumans who just don’t give a fuck. Oh, and they’re led by one super responsible good guy soldier.
Obviously, LeBron is the leader/good guy and the other four are the X-factor Suicide Squaders. Rondo, Stephenson, Beasley and McGee have all been labeled as “headcases” before, but each of them has shown that they can be special when everything clicks on the court. Here are just a few examples of their quirky/suicide squady behavior:
To beat a juggernaut like the Warriors, LeBron will need four guys who will go into battle with him with no fear. Rondo has once tried to fight Draymond Green, Stephenson believes no one is his equal, Beasley claims to be “your favorite player’s favorite player,” and McGee has seen the inside of the Warriors operation. And after facing the Warriors four times in the finals, LeBron has to be numb to the fear they instill in their opponents.
The Warriors feed off of their opponent’s fear, but they will have empty stomachs when this lineup is on the floor.
The Refrigerator Crew
Every Lakers fan has heard the phrase, “the game is in the refrigerator.” It was made famous by Chick Hern to describe when a game is over before the clock hits zero.
In the event that the Lakers are leading or trailing by a great amount, Walton will probably put his end of bench guys in the game. To be fair, the chances of this lineup playing together are very slim since most of these players will be switching between the G-League and NBA. But it is one with great potential.
Josh Hart has already proven to be a stud, but the other four guys will need minutes to prove that they can be a solid 10th, 11th or 12th man. The Lakers need these talented young guys to get reps in as much as possible so they are ready the moment their number is called.
Svi is my guy to watch in this lineup since there is a solid chance that he becomes the best shooter on the team this season.