The Los Angeles Lakers have a good deal of size, with players such as LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and Anthony Davis all being listed at 6-foot-8 or taller.
Former NBA guard Gilbert Arenas recently suggested the Lakers use their size to their advantage this season. Arenas was on the Knuckleheads podcast with former NBA players Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson, and he said a lineup of James, Kuzma, Davis, Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee “would kill.”
“LeBron at the point, Kuzma at the two,” Arenas said. “Anthony Davis at the three. You can go JaVale and Dwight. In hindsight you’d be like, ‘Oh, they’d get killed.’”
Arenas added that the Lakers wouldn’t run into matchup problems anywhere, particularly on defense. He mentioned how with the lineup’s size, other teams would struggle trying to find shots.
“On defense you got all 6’10 (sic) and above just locking down,” Arenas said. “Play like a zone type and just say ‘Oh, go to the basket.’ You got five freak athletes jumping trying to block that shot.”
As for offense, Arenas said teams wouldn’t be able to defend the lineup well because of the potential for matchup problems, particularly with James playing point guard. Standing at 6-foot-8, James, with his ability to play point guard, has posed matchup issues for opponents through his whole career — that’s nothing new.
But with the rest of the lineup, the lane and the floor would be shrunk. Kuzma and James are the best shooters of the bunch, and even both of them haven’t shot at least 35% from three for their careers.
McGee and Howard both thrive down low, particularly in the dunker’s spot. It would be difficult to have two rim runners dominate in that offense, especially considering there wouldn’t be that much space present to begin with.
Teams would essentially just have to stay home and hope that James or Davis doesn’t dominate in the paint too much.
James and Davis would be the only players who could truly present problems for an opposing defense in this lineup. And Davis playing at the small forward wouldn’t be as effective because he succeeds as a hybrid power forward who can pull defenders out, but also play well inside.
In theory, Arenas’ suggested lineup for the Lakers is interesting to think about defensively. The Lakers would have an abundance of length on defense.
But on offense, there wouldn’t be enough space for each player to do what they do best.