The Los Angeles Lakers have revealed their "probable" starting lineup for opening night against the in-state Clippers, and it's not a lineup likely to inspire much confidence. According to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, the starters are expected to be Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Nick Young, Shawne Williams and Pau Gasol.
This is the group that started the last three games of the preseason for the Lakers, and while big man Chris Kaman is likely to play in the opener after missing over a week with an illness, coach Mike D'Antoni will go with Williams at the starting power forward spot.
It has been quite the whirlwind last few months for Williams, who was on the scrap heap before the Lakers signed him in September. The former first-round pick has had a disappointing NBA career, and he didn't even play in the league last season.
Williams was serviceable enough in the preseason, averaging 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds. However, he's a bit undersized and again, he has never amounted to much at the NBA level. It seems like a good bet that Kaman will return to the starting lineup when he's fully healthy, but that has not yet been decided.
In the backcourt, Nash and Blake give the Lakers two capable ballhandlers, but they'll be lacking in the size and defense department. Big, athletic backcourts are sure to try and take advantage of those two, which will put more pressure on Pau Gasol to step up behind them. It's unclear whether D'Antoni will stick to the duo point guard look when Kobe Bryant returns from an Achilles injury, or if Blake will return to the bench.
Meanwhile, Nick Young is sure to get up plenty of shots with Bryant out of the lineup for the time being. Young will probably shoot the Lakers to a few wins this year, but he'll also shoot them to a few losses. It's certainly going to be an interesting year in Lakerland.