What was supposed to be a great night was ruined as the Lakers fell to the Toronto Raptors 106-94 in Kobe Bryant’s return. The Lakers, as expected by many, struggled to integrate Bryant into the lineup, especially on offense. This lead to the starters totaling only 23 total points, with no one reaching double figures, while the five players off the bench all scored in double figures, totaling 71 points.
As a result of this, Coach Mike D’Antoni is now apparently considering another change to the starting lineup, according to Bill Oram of the OC Register:
D’Antoni said He will consider yet another change to starting lineup to try to help flow.
— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) December 9, 2013
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as the constant injuries have forced the Lakers to continually change lineups. Bryant seemed to be looking to pass far more than shoot, but with a frontcourt of Robert Sacre, Pau Gasol and Wesley Johnson, there wasn’t much floor spacing.
D’Antoni went with Jodie Meeks and Shawne Williams pretty early in the second half so either one of those two could be added back in the starting lineup to bring shooting and spread the floor. Meeks, in particular, has been in the starting lineup for most of the year so he could easily be re-inserted into that role with Bryant moving over to the small forward position.
Whatever the changes may be, expect constant lineup and rotation changes until the Lakers get healthy. Only then will D’Antoni be able to work out a proper rotation.
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