HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Miami isn’t the only high-profile team struggling to slow down opposing team’s point guards.
The two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are going through some trials and tribulations of their own in that regard. In fact, the Lakers’ three-game losing streak has been highlighted by opposing point guards attacking them, including last night’s monster effort from Hang Time Grizzlies flash Mike Conley.
He was the tip of the Grizzlies’ spear, abusing older and slower point guards Derek Fisher and Steve Blake to the tune of a team-high 28 points, which including a 4-for-5 shooting display from long distance.
Lakers coach Phil Jackson insists the problem with opposing point guards is a deeper issue for his team than what’s gone on in the last three games, per our main man Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:
“We’ve had trouble with them from the last two or three years,” Jackson said. “So that’s nothing new. There are quick guards in this league.”
The Lakers never could quite figure out how to slow down the left-handed, fleet-footed Conley.
He burned them for 10 points in the fourth, missing just one of his five shots, making his only three-pointer.
That came with 1:41 left and it gave the Grizzlies a seven-point lead they held on to.
“Defensively, we had trouble keeping in front of him,” Jackson said. “And a lot of that is help from the big guys. A lot of it is his talents.”
Sunday night, Indiana point guards Darren Collison and T.J. Ford combined for 19 points and eight assists. Last Friday night, Utah point guard Deron Williams hit the Lakers for 29 points on 10-for-14 shooting, and 12 assists.
We discussed a similar situation regarding Heat in this space a couple of weeks ago. We can’t help but wonder how big a problem opposing guards (or more specifically an opposing point guard like Rajon Rondo) will be for these elite teams come the playoffs.
It might end up being the difference between winning and losing a series, if everything else is a wash.
The San Antonio Spurs should have no such worries, not with the way their point guards, and everyone else on the roster, are playing these days. They Spurs headline the Daily Zap from Tuesday night’s action:
You need to make sure and check out the Top 10, too, because our guy Josh “McBob” McRoberts makes yet another appearance for the grassroots campaign we started weeks ago to get him to Los Angeles for All-Star Weekend: