The Los Angeles Lakers are suddenly dealing with a wealth of talent at the center position following the arrival of Andre Drummond, who joined Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell among L.A.’s players listed as nominal 5s.
Thanks to securing Drummond’s services, the reigning NBA champions filled a void on the roster left by the departures of JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard in the offseason. The former Detroit Pistons and Cleveland Cavaliers center adds extra size, lob threat and rebounding to the Lakers, which they visibly lacked in the first part of the 2020-21 campaign.
Drummond, Harrell and Gasol all offer different sets of skills providing head coach Frank Vogel with plenty of lineups and frontcourt configurations at his disposal. Vogel said that when Drummond rests, the two other big men could even come off the bench together at some point this season. “Yeah, it’s a lineup I think can work,” he said.
“We haven’t had a need to go to that up to this point in the season, but it’s definitely something we’re going to look at. [T]he way it would work is Marc is basically offensively the four with Trezz being a five and defensively Marc is the five and Trezz is the four.”
Vogel added he is “excited” to see the lineup in action, but he might have to wait before giving the experiment a try. Drummond ended his debut game early after injuring his toe in the second quarter of the 112-97 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
X-rays showed no bone damage, but the center could spend some time on the sidelines before making his return considering his entire toenail came off after clashing with Brook Lopez.
Wesley Matthews hails Marc Gasol for staying ready
After losing a spot in the starting lineup, Gasol didn’t appear on the court in the first three-quarters of the showdown with Milwaukee.
But deployed by Vogel to start in the fourth, he stepped up and ended the night with two points, three rebounds, two blocks, an assist and a steal. Wesley Matthews commended the Spaniard for his readiness and professionalism. “Obviously it’s not easy, by any means. Give that man his credit. We love what we do and we compete and we’re ultra competitors, and that’s never easy for anybody in that position.
“For him to step up like he did and make the plays that he made and to be there supportive of us the whole time, I ain’t got nothing but respect for him. That’s how it’s supposed to be and that’s how it is.”
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