Just as complicated as the small forward position may get, the power forward slot may get as well. So, let’s take a look:
- Pau Gasol
- Antawn Jamison
- Jordan Hill
- Earl Clark
Pau Gasol will obviously start at this position, and I would expect Antawn Jamison to be his primary backup. Scoring is what the Lakers severely lacked off the bench last season, and scoring is exactly what Jamison brings to the table.
But what if Jordan Hill begins to play exceptionally well? Hill proved himself in big games at the very end of last season, and brought his consistency and defense with him into the playoffs.
I know you’re thinking “well, Hill can play the center position, so he can just back up Dwight Howard if that’s the case,” but that isn’t as clear-cut as it seems, either.
When Howard goes out of the game (it was Andrew Bynum in the past, obviously), Pau Gasol usually slides over to the center position.
This is a great time for Gasol, as he’s actually featured in the offense more and is more efficient; Gasol has a 21.7 PER at the five spot compared to a 20.1 PER at power forward.
Similarly, Gasol is better defensively against centers as well, and should Howard miss time either at the start of the season or later on, Gasol is undoubtedly the player who would fill in at his position.
As for Earl Clark, I doubt he’ll seriously get any time at either the small forward or power forward positions.
Final Thought – With Pau Gasol starting at power forward, Antawn Jamison is likely to be his primary backup, but coach Brown could opt to have Jordan Hill split minutes between the power forward and center positions if he performs extremely well.
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