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2009, June 7 – USA Today: Lakers, Magic prove versatility playing well in postseason

June 7, 2009

"Most teams try to match the elite teams," says Orlando guard Rafer Alston. "That's why you see a lot of teams running the same plays. They're all followers."

Rose points out that Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson can use guard Kobe Bryant at the one, two or three spots. Odom can play at the two, three or four. Gasol can play the four or five. "Same thing with the Magic," he says. "Sometimes you don't know who is the three or four, Hedo Turkoglu or Rashard Lewis. You can play Hedo at point forward.

"You talk about Mike D'Antoni and his system. What really is his system? He wants to get up court, run, and shoot the three. That's actually what the Magic do. But they do it under control. And if the threes aren't falling and there are 22 seconds on the shot clock, they say, 'We don't need that 25-footer. We'll go inside to Dwight (Howard), then he'll swing the pass, swing-swing, and we'll get the open three.'

"And the Lakers run the triangle. You'd think, after nine championships (with Jackson), somebody would try to duplicate that. It seems to work pretty well. But what the triangle is, it's a multitude of players with a lot of different skills."

A lack of versatility could explain the downfall of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won a league-best 66 games during the regular season.

"No offense to players like Cleveland's Ben Wallace, who is just a defender, or Anderson Varejao, who is just a rebounder, or Wally Szczerbiak, who is just a shooter," Rose says. "But you have to do more than one thing. At 6-2 or 6-3, would Delonte West be a starting shooting guard on another team? Not on a good team. And Mo Williams is not a point guard who is going to get 10 assists. He's a point guard who will get 25 points. So that's kind of one-dimensional as a point guard. Boobie Gibson is just a shooter.

"Versatility, that's what I look for in players now."