Monday , Oct , 08 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Why The L.A. Lakers Should Start Ronny Turiaf & Move Luke Walton To Bench

Walton did a nice job as a starter last year: 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. But the Arizona grad’s strength is his basketball IQ. This is why Walton works best as a reserve. He can observe the play from the bench and make adjustments when he checks in …

The Associated Press reports on the Lakers looking at making changes to their starting line-up:

Jackson said he was "seriously considering" starting Ronny Turiaf because of his high energy and shot-blocking ability.

That could move Walton to the bench and Odom to small forward. Jackson said the response Saturday by some players was mixed.

"It seems OK. It’s neither good nor bad," said Jackson, adding that "compliance is what I’m looking for."

Walton said he just wants to help the team. "I have an interesting role on the team," he said. "For me, it’s not about scoring a certain amount of points or assists, it’s doing whatever is needed to help this team win."

My Quick Take:  Last season, , as the starting small forward, provided energy and hustle. Ronny Turiaf, if he became the starting power forward, would provide the same energy and hustle. So why would Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson start Turiaf and move Walton to the bench?

  • Phil Jackson’s triple-post offense works best with a blue-collar power forward. And Turiaf’s hustle and effort surely reminds Zen-Master Phil of Horace Grant. Starting the Frenchman would give the Lakers a pest to grab offensive rebounds and set firm picks.
  • With Walton as a reserve, shifts from power forward to small forward. This makes sense because the lanky left-hander is a natural three-man. He likes his touches on the perimeter, where he can create for others and become that Scottie Pippen sort of player.
  • Odom, Turiaf, and Andrew Bynum or Kwame Brown at center gives the Lakers a big, imposing front-court. They can dominate the glass and impose their will on opponents. Most importantly, they would have an identity-other than being Kobe Bryant’s team.
  • Walton did a nice job as a starter last year: 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. But the Arizona grad’s strength is his basketball IQ. This is why Walton works best as a reserve. He can observe the play from the bench and make adjustments when he checks in.

Who should the Lakers start: Walton or Turiaf? Get at us in the comment box below with your numbers.

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