Los Angeles Lakers' 3-Peat Attempt: 7 Lineup Changes That Guarantee the Trifecta

Joshua SextonSenior Analyst IIDecember 7, 2010

Los Angeles Lakers' 3-Peat Attempt: 7 Lineup Changes That Guarantee the Trifecta

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26:  The 2009-2010 Los Angeles Lakers Championship Banner is unveiled during a ceremony prior to their opening night game against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on October 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER:
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The Los Angeles Lakers have arguably the best starting lineup and bench in the NBA.

    Add in the fact they have won the last two championships, and it is safe to say the Lakers' rotation is set in stone, as all the players know their roles and responsibilities.

    However, there are few small changes the Lakers could make that would improve their chances even more of winning three straight championships.

7. Play Andrew Bynum More at The End Of Games

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 15:  Andrew Bynum #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives through Kendrick Perkins #43 and Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celtics in the first period of Game Six of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 15, 2010 in Los Angeles,
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    More times than not, Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom are finishing games for the Lakers. When Bynum returns from injury, the Lakers should consider playing him more with Odom or Gasol at the end of games.

    This would save minutes for Gasol and/or Odom and give Bynum confidence playing at crunch time.

6. Play Luke Walton More Minutes

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 02:  Luke Walton #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to teammate Kobe Bryant #24 during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center on November 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Grizzlies 12
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    By giving Luke Walton more playing time, members of the starting lineup would save minutes for the postseason. Obviously, Walton is not the best player on the Lakers. However, Walton understands the triangle offense as well as anyone.

    Therefore, Walton is not a complete liability to have on the court.

5. Play Matt Barnes, Ron Artest and Kobe Bryant Together

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    EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Ron Artest #15 and Matt Barnes #9 of the Los Angeles Lakers talk during Media Day at the Toyota Center on September 25, 2010 in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadi
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Very seldom in the first 20 games of the season have we seen Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest and Matt Barnes playing together. The team should consider getting these three players accustomed to playing with one another.

    Seeing as these are the team's three best perimeter defenders, they will most likely have to play together at some point during the playoffs—especially if the Lakers play a good perimeter team like Oklahoma City, Boston, Dallas or even Miami.

4. Limit Derek Fisher's Minutes As Much As Possible

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 07:  Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers grabs a rebound against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Staples Center on November 7, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Harry How/Getty Images

    By limiting Fisher's minutes, the Lakers are not putting themselves at risk of losing games, especially, now that the team has a legitimate backup point guard in Steve Blake.

    By resting Fisher now, he will obviously be more rested for the playoffs. Fisher is much more valuable to the team in April than December.

3. Play Ron Artest More With The Killer Bees

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    DENVER - NOVEMBER 11:  Ron Artest #15 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts after being called for a foul against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on November 11, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Lakers 118-112.  NOTE TO USER: User expr
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Currently, Ron Artest is in an offensive slump, still trying to master the triangle offense. Playing him more with Matt Barnes, Steve Blake and Shannon Brown would give him the chance to play with other players who are new to the offense.

    This could potentially give him more confidence with his offensive game.

2. Play Derrick Caracter More Minutes

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 03:  Donte Greene #20 of the Sacramento Kings drives to the basket while being defended by Derrick Caracter #45 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half at Staples Center on December 3, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Th
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    By playing Derrick Caracter more, Pau Gasol would not have to log so many minutes early in the season. With Andrew Bynum and Theo Ratliff recovering from injury, Caracter is the only legitimate backup post player the Lakers have.

    It would be worth risking the production on the court now by playing Caracter to ensure Gasol is rested and healthy come playoff time.

1. Add Another Big Man To The Roster

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    ATLANTA - OCTOBER 28:  Jeff Foster #10 of the Indiana Pacers against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on October 28, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With Andrew Bynum and Theo Ratliff on the shelf and Pau Gasol's hamstring acting up, the Lakers would be wise to add another post player to their roster. If Bynum and Ratliff stay injured for an extended amount of time, Gasol and Odom will be burned out come playoff time.

    Also, an established veteran would make more sense than playing Caracter extended minutes as a rookie.

    Why not swap Sasha Vujacic for Jeff Foster?