Five Lakers Who Will Have to Step Up in Dwight Howard’s Absence

With Pau Gasol sliding down to the center position, Antawn Jamison starting at the power forward slot, and Jordan Hill back

Robert Sacre

ing up the two of them (or Hill starting and Jamison coming off the bench), it will likely leave room for another big man to steal a few minutes at the beginning of next season while Dwight Howard recovers. However, that is not a given as Mike Brown could easily opt for a three-man combination of Gasol, Hill, and Jamison.

Nonetheless, it will at the very least leave an opportunity during training camp for one of the Lakers’ other big men to prove themselves.

Rookie center Robert Sacre (7’0″, 260 lbs), who averaged 11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks last season with Gonzaga, could potentially earn a couple minutes on the floor if he performs well.

Similarly,  forward Earl Clark (6’10”, 225 lbs), who was a throw-in with the Howard trade, could potentially see some action. Clark has averaged just 3.1 points and 2.1 rebounds over his three-year career, but if he can find chemistry and a defensive tenacity with his new squad, he could even earn some time on the floor.

It will be a battle between those two, and neither will be a shoe-in for some minutes, but a little competition never hurt anyone. With so many talented big men, however, those guys will have to, at the very least, step up in practice to keep the rotation players ready.

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