EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The Lakers on Monday unveiled their latest, or first, countermeasure to slow Chris Paul.
Steve Blake breathing on him.
“Sweat on him a little bit,” Blake said, smiling. Blake rejoined the Lakers after missing three games with the chicken pox, showing the effects with understandable conditioning problems in his initial practice back and with his face still marked by the illness. Not that the two-time defending champions are desperate, but they didn’t have much success slowing Paul in Game 1 so scaring him may be the next best option.
In more practical terms, the expected return to the lineup for one of the reserve point guards, along with Shannon Brown, is important heading into Game 2 on Wednesday night at Staples Center with the Lakers again facing the never-ending problem of being taken apart in the playoffs by quick point guards. Blake is not quick, but he is an important contributor at the position.
“I don’t know how many minutes I’d be able to play,” Blake said of Game 2. “It’s kinda up in the air. It’s always up to coach. But I’ll give it all I have for whatever I time I am out there.”
The Lakers went through a lengthy film session at their practice facility before hitting the court, a sign of how much work they have to do after the Hornets’ excellent offensive execution in the Game 1 victory.
Phil Jackson was asked after what he stressed.
“Transition defense,” Jackson said.
And what, exactly, in regards to that?
“How to run back.”
Another new countermeasure.