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Who Should Be Starting Power Forward for Los Angeles Lakers?

August 31st, 2013 at 1:37 PM
By Anousheh Emadi

'Chris Kaman' photo (c) 2011, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ The Los Angeles Lakers roster is nearly set for the upcoming season, but the starting power forward position still hasn't been determined.

With Dwight Howard out of town, Pau Gasol will now have to step in as the starting center. Both Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman are capable of playing alongside Gasol at the four, but which player is the better fit? While Kaman is a more polished offensive player, Hill brings energy and efficient rebounding to the frontline.

In order to come up with the best option, let's make the case for both Hill and Kaman.

Jordan Hill

The Lakers gave up the 19th- most offensive rebounds last season, and L.A. was 22nd in points allowed with 101 per game.

That's where Hill comes in. The former Arizona Wildcat is known for his defense, rebounding and high-energy play. Hill averaged an excellent 13 boards per 36 minutes, which was more efficient than Howard's.

With Hill starting, Kaman will bring stability to the bench as the backup center. The only other power forward options at the bench are rookie Ellias Harris and unsigned draft pick Ryan Kelly.

The 26-year-old will give Gasol plenty of room to operate in the post. The Spaniard will start games as the primary post player, which will get him into an early rhythm. Hill doesn't need the basketball to be effective, whereas Kaman does. His improving mid-range jump shot should compliment Gasol well. 

Furthermore, the 6'10'' big man is arguably the best interior defender on the team. He possesses the appropriate length and foot speed to contain opposing power forwards.  

Hill is ready to take on a starting role and make a big impact on both ends of the floor.

Chris Kaman

The German big man has earned many starting roles in the past, and he is ready to take on that part once more.

While Kaman is on the decline since his days with the Los Angeles Clippers, he still remains a valuable role player. The former All-Star posted an impressive 18 points and ten rebounds per 36 minutes with the Dallas Mavericks last season.

Kaman and Pau will be a nice fit together because of their versatility to play inside-out, unlike Howard who clogged the paint. While Kaman's actual position is center, he and Gasol will be interchangeable when playing together. The Spaniard will be the center on offense, and the German will guard centers on defense.    

Although the 31-year-old isn't known as an elite defender, he's still a decent rim protector that holds averages of 1.4 blocks per game throughout his career.

Chris Kaman is nevertheless an above average starter, and will be a nice fit alongside Gasol.     

The Choice

Both Hill and Kaman are going to play a crucial role for the Lakers next season due to their minimal depth at the power forward and center position. Gasol, Hill and Kaman will be the three big men rotation, while Harris and Kelly will likely receive minor minutes next season.

While Kaman is the more experienced player, Hill remains the better candidate for the starting power forward position because of his efficient rebounding and tenacious defense.   

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Tags: Basketball, Center, Chris Kaman, Dwight Howard, Jordan Hill, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, power forward

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