: Last season, Jackson envisioned Walton, with his knack for team play, anchoring the Lakers' second unit. But Vladimir Radmanovic never earned a starting spot and Walton emerged. When asked if Jackson wants Walton to be his reserve anchor again, Jackson replied: "Sure do. I know that we have to have starters coming off the bench to be a good team."
So even though Radmanovic (who signed a five-year, $30 million deal in July 2006) and Walton (who signed a six-year, $30 million deal in July) are around, it is Turiaf (making $770,610 this season) about whom Jackson said, "I plan on starting him."
Added Jackson: "He's a guy who can bring energy to the game and the kind of start we need to have in kind of a physical front."
Turiaf said he boosted his confidence over the summer playing for the French national team, and Jackson said Turiaf is "playing really well now." Turiaf worked extensively on his offensive game over the summer, but he knows he could offer the Lakers a tougher edge to start games.
Walton likely would be on the floor down the stretch, even if he doesn't start. But the Lakers would like to limit Walton to about 30 minutes per game given his history of injuries. He strained his right hamstring Friday but exited practice immediately instead of risking a tear like the one he had in 2005.
"We do know who the toilet-tissue-paper players are," Jackson said, alluding to breakability. "We make a note of that. And right now we've got a few of them. With Luke's attrition, he always seems to miss the regular season because of a training-camp injury. We hope we averted it this time."
Kobe Bryant sat out the end of the practice Friday because of discomfort in his twice-repaired right knee, but he said he was fine. … About Andrew Bynum, Jackson said: "You can really tell the difference in his conditioning to this point."