Lakers’ Point Guard Troubles Continue


VIDEO: Mike D’Antoni discusses how the Lakers will press on without Steve Blake

HANG TIME WEST – The Lakers’ move toward improved health, with Kobe Bryant back and Steve Nash expressing optimism about his recovery, suffered another setback Thursday with the news that Steve Blake is expected to miss at least six weeks with a torn ligament in his right elbow.

The Lakers have quickly gone from starting the season feeling good about their depth at point guard to not having a single true point guard on the roster, with projected starter Nash sidelined by nerve damage in his back, Jordan Farmar out with a torn left hamstring and now Blake pushed to the sideline.

The immediate response, coach Mike D’Antoni indicated after practice in El Segundo, Calif., will be Bryant at the point and Jodie Meeks at shooting guard when a four-game trip begins Friday in Oklahoma City. One of the worst places possible, in other words, with Russell Westbrook waiting, before the Lakers continue to Charlotte (with Kemba Walker as the leading scorer, though a volume shooter), Atlanta (Jeff Teague) and Memphis (Mike Conley). And when that swing ends, the next three opponents are Minnesota (Ricky Rubio), Golden State (Stephen Curry) and Phoenix (Eric Bledsoe/Goran Dragic).

The bigger picture is that outside reinforcements capable of making an impact are unlikely. While it is easy to suggest making a trade, and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry has become the name de jour in trade rumors, the Lakers won’t give up much for relief help if indications are that at least two of the three veterans at the position are working toward returning soon. In a related development, the Lakers don’t have much to give up.

Adding a free agent at the position, for practice and limited game duty, seems a more-reasonable expectation. Mike Trudell, the beat writer for Lakers.com and sideline reporter on TV and radio, quoted general manager Mitch Kupchak that finding someone who can play ahead of Bryant, Meeks and Xavier Henry is “unlikely.” Leandro Barbosa and a pair former Lakers, Darius Morris and Chris Duhon are “on the list” of candidates, Dave McMenamin of ESPNLA.com quoted Kupchak as saying.

Otherwise, it’s a waiting game on the point guards already in house. Nash said last week he has been encouraged by his body’s response to increased workouts, but no timetable has been set for a return and he is not expected to accompany the Lakers on the four-game trip. Farmar has also given positive reports on his recovery, but likewise is staying away from a target date for playing again.

Blake is averaging 9.8 points, 7.7 assists and 31.8 minutes while shooting 39.8 percent in starting all 21 games. He was hurt in the second half Nov. 26 at Washington, but continued to play with the injury to his shooting arm.

29 Comments

  1. Gian Carlo says:

    Laker nation, stop whining grab Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin, and give whatever Houston Rockets demands in return.
    D’ antoni should go back in his winning ways with KOBE, ASIK and LIN. No way Houston can disagree to this, they are so active in dumping this poison contract that backfires on them.
    They invested heavily on Asik and Lin in 2012, not expecting that they will land Howard and Harden. So Houston sparingly play Asik and Lin.
    Lakers can have their last hurrah, if they beat this Rockets in the playoff with Kobe,Asik and Lin in the fold.

  2. h-town fan says:

    gasol for lowry, 10 bucks

  3. Mr Net Breaker says:

    are these players really injure or is and excuse not to play

  4. harold says:

    it appears to me that the team was playing inspired basketball prior to Kobe’s return..now that he is back there is no chemistry guys who were playing well look lost and timid which i feared would happen when they injected him into the starting line up…big mistake especially with a coach like dantoni….no point guards, no identity and back to looking like last year….dantoni needs to be fired he has never one a championship and doesnt stress defense…he does not like gasol or kobe and i just cant rationalize why the lakers hired him….kobe does not look right and the whole team has suffered since his return and dantoni cant get them any better…..

  5. KR46 says:

    Bryant at PG is hilarious, his idea of ball movement is switching his dribble from his right hand to his left.

  6. Jai Harrison says:

    Kobe you might as well score bout 81 points again and theyll leave you alone for good then

  7. Pinoy Idiot says:

    Kobe will bring the Lakers another championship trophy!!!! NOT

    LMAO Stupid Laker fans, keep dreaming your team won’t even make it to the playoffs before Kobe retires

  8. Game Time says:

    Sad days in L.A. continue even after Kobe’s return.

  9. James says:

    NHL phone case…..

  10. Manny says:

    It’s sad that even if this very lakers team is healthy they could be pretty scary. But AGAIN the injuries mount & L.A’s terrible luck resumes. They NEED to get rid of nash to gain more cap space for next year, too.

  11. theaandthea says:

    i’m not specially a lakers fan but i respect them and it’s always sad to see a team the head under the water because of injuries.
    and the coach is another big bleeding injury, fix that lakers, quick. 1 season is enough, the last years of bryant and you give him this coach ?

  12. Tyrese says:

    Kobe can handle any position they put him at he has it

  13. Alan Espin says:

    Let,s see how this goes… god bless the Lakers

  14. alaaaaan says:

    Kyle Lowry: “name de jour in trade rumors” How cute Scott, you tried to drop a lil french expression in ur writing to show us how cultured you are….too bad its “du jour” doofus

  15. okc2014 says:

    The Lakers will not beat OKC tonight. Kevin Durant is on the “I hate you” tour and Russell Westbrook doesn’t appreciate how OKC lost in the playoffs due to his injury. These guys are playing right now like it’s the playoffs and what I like about them now, is that they are getting their second shift ready. Lakers are doomed tonight and for the rest of the season. They have horrible chemistry and that is key to championship status.

  16. natan says:

    we all know that kobe is a hall of famed and one of the best basketball players in the world but it doesnt seem that he’s gonna make a comeback this time

  17. Danny says:

    No true point guard wow. Sign a D-leaguer or free agent. Kobe will be exhausted if he takes over point guard duties.

  18. Lakers Fan says:

    @ Julius J: The problem is they don’t have much pure PG’s in their line up. I do agree that they’ll (Westbrook, Curry, Paul, Bledsoe, Lawson, Harden) take advantage of Kobe’s lack of speed and explosiveness but it’s a gamble they’re (Lakers) willing to make as Kobe can compensate by his knowledge and wisdom with regards to the game, not to mention his killer instincts and ability to draw extra defensive coverage. But yeah, his 2 year extension only dashed every hope left to attract top free agents.

  19. julius j. says:

    If Kobe becomed PG of LA, then their opponent will have a fastbreak frenzy. He is an offensive player and he shoots the ball more than anybody else during the game. He can not comeback on the defense as a stationary. Better give chance to other PG in the team to contribute.

  20. Lakers Fan says:

    Kobe should be able to play the point and play decoy to draw the defense for an easy basket. He will definitely need help against the speedy guards, but they can set up a trap and hopefully works out. But to be fair to D’Antoni, he’s doing a decent job with this lineup, although not enough to win in the playoffs thanks to Kobe’s 2 year contract.

  21. DigDug says:

    Ever since D’Antoni came to LA it’s been nothing but injuries. And yes, I’m still angry at his signing lol I’ll never get over it ever!

  22. Will The Real Deal says:

    No not another setback for the Lakers. This is a key time for players such as Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry to step up, and win themselves more minutes in this team. Lakers likely will not win against Okc but have chances to beat everyone else. It’s simple now the Lakers have to find a wining strategy to win basketball games. In order for the Lakers to be great this season Kobe will have to take a role more such as a triple-double man some what like Lebron role in Miami. Kobe will have to productive while he is on the court starting with less turn overs and shooting at the right time.

  23. jonski22 says:

    Lakers have a lot of guards…Henry, Bryant, Meeks, and Young can handle PG duties…..the problem is the bigs..getting the rebound, intimidate penetration, and playing on the post…Pau is not healthy, and hitting low big time…Hill is Ok…Williams and Johnson should rebound more…

  24. chalice says:

    Kobe now has a great chance to prove me and his other critics wrong about his extension. We’ll see how Kobe will step up to the challenge. Im rooting for Kobe simply because he’s old but I highly doubt he will be back to form ever, much less in a month.