Who Should the L.A. Lakers Start If Dwight Howard Isn’t Ready for Opening Night?

There's no question the L.A. Lakers are a stronger team with Dwight Howard on the roster, but with his ability to start by opening night in question, someone needs to fill in at power forward as Pau Gasol slides over to play center.

The two main options are Jordan Hill and veteran Antawn Jamison. Each is unique in their style and fit in different ways with this Lakers team.

Hill became a viable option especially after showing the kind of production he was capable of within the Lakers system.

He came in through a trade with the Rockets and didn't have much hope of cracking the rotation. After getting playing time one night and turning in a huge performance, he fought his way into the rotation and showed what he's capable of with some time and development, averaging 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.

With Howard out of the lineup, and Gasol moving into his spot, defense becomes the biggest concern. Jordan Hill immediately becomes the best option. Jamison is known to be a defensive liability, and the Lakers feel the same way according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times.

Hill's athleticism and ability to protect the rim is exactly what the Lakers will need. Granted, it may not be at the level Howard brings, but having some semblance of defense in the frontcourt should help them thrive despite Howard's absence.

Aside from his ability defensively, Hill should get the start because he could eventually become part of the Lakers' future plans. With Pau Gasol's future with the team being uncertain, Hill could be their next primary option to play alongside Howard in the frontcourt.

As a high draft pick that has been bounced around the league a few times, his potential remains untapped and a little bit of consistency could breed faster development and turn him into a key cog in the Lakers' push.

Where Hill falls short is on the offensive side. He's severely limited off...

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