Things are ramping up around the Los Angeles Lakers, and head coach Byron Scott is preparing for training camp. He recently revealed the coaching staff additions he'll be bringing along with him, and now told the Los Angeles Daily News' Mark Medina what he expects the Lakers starting lineup to look like. Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill are in Scott's first projected starting five, with a spot up for grabs between Wesley Johnson and Nick Young, reports Medina:
Scott will spend training camp figuring out his starting lineup, which he says will currently feature Nash, Bryant, Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill. He is leaning toward starting Wesley Johnson at small forward because of his defensive potential and relying on Nick Young's prolific scoring off the bench. Scott also reported Xavier Henry has not fully recovered from left wrist and right knee injuries.
Bryant and Hill starting for the Lakers isn't surprising, but the inclusion of both Boozer and Nash answers two of the bigger questions heading into training camp. Both of the Lakers' "big" acquisitions this summer -- Julius Randle and Jeremy Lin -- are now projected to play off the bench as the team begins it's journey through the 2014-2015 season.
Nash struggled to stay on the floor last season, starting just 10 times in 15 games played total. The former Most Valuable Player confirmed the upcoming season would be his final in the association, and Scott is prepared to give him an opportunity to start in the last chapter of his career. Lakers head trainer Garry Vitti commented on Nash's health last month, stating the point guard is 100 percent healthy.
Boozer's inclusion in the starting lineup shows a measured approach from Scott as the team feels out how prepared Randle will be early in his rookie season. The Lakers added Boozer via amnesty waiver claim, and will give the veteran forward an opportunity to bounce back from a career-worst season. He shot a career-low 45.6 percent from the field while averaging the second-lowest points per game in his 12-year career.
Bringing Young off the bench is a sensible move that should give the second unit a consistent scoring punch, while Johnson should help give the starting lineup some much needed athleticism on the perimeter.
Nothing is set in stone with training camp and preseason still giving plenty of room for this to change, but it's interesting to read Scott's first take on the personnel he'll be trying to coach. Give Mark Medina's full sit down with Scott a read as well, as there's plenty of interesting tidbits of information throughout the article.