Is Wesley Johnson, Chris Kaman or Jordan Hill Lakers Answer at Power Forward?

The Los Angeles Lakers are just five games into their regular season and already, questions are mounting about playing time for the L.A. frontcourt.

Given the need to preserve Pau Gasol's legs for a possible stretch run, it makes sense to find a workable combination involving the three primary bigs—Gasol, Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill. Gasol was hampered by tendinitis last year and had his knees scoped over the summer, so it's imperative the Lakers identify the right bigs to both play with him and limit his minutes.

The idea of bringing Wesley Johnson in for small-ball opportunities certainly makes sense. There is, however, the very real case of chemistry, especially with Gasol, a team co-captain who is often its most pragmatic anchor.

Last season, D’Antoni found himself in an untenable situation, coming late to the game and trying to find balance between a new superstar center in Dwight Howard and a longtime leader in Gasol. There was also the matter of the coach's aversion to big lineups. He couldn’t, or wouldn’t, keep the Howard and Gasol on the floor together.

The problem is a bit of a traffic jam—it’s fundamentally an issue of big versus small. Welcome to another year in D’Antoni’s system.

Kaman, the newly arrived big man, was supposed to make Gasol's life easier. In order to do that, however, he needs to be on the floor. Arash Markazi from ESPN Los Angeles explores the patience issue, as Kaman explains his frustrations:

It’s not easy, but I want to be patient with Coach because he’s a good guy and he’s been straight with me...We’ve talked and he’s said, ‘Hey, I want to get you in there more, but I’m trying to do everything.’ It’s hard to make everybody happy and do your job and win. There’s a lot going on there for him.


Kaman came in off the be...

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