For years we’ve watched as the Lakers won titles playing in Tex Winter’s gift to the game – the triangle offense. In Phil Jackson’s version of the triangle point guard play and production wasn’t valued much. Of course, having guys like Scottie Pippen and Lamar Odom around to initiate your offense provides a certain luxury few championship teams have experienced.
Obviously the Lakers are in a transitional period. It goes without saying that the need to upgrade at the point guard position has been an area of major concern in recent years. This is the season in which that glaring weakness will finally become a fatal flaw.
Derek Fisher has been an important part of many a title team here in Los Angeles. Dude might get a statute outside Staples but I’d argue he did more for this town than Oscar De La Hoya…but that is another topic.
Today we’re talking about the Lakers and their inability to generate anything meaningful from the point guard position.
Last season’s demolition by Dallas put the Lakers on high alert about their point guard problems. Last night in Sacramento and on Christmas that problem became a full blown crisis.
D-Fish is the guy that should be coming to take the ball from Kobe Bryant in those late situations. After your best scorer that only other man that should be touching the ball in crunch time is the point guard.
D-Fish is also the guy that you’re supposed to rely on in late game situations. Every team needs a quarterback on the floor to control the tempo, command the offense and above all else protect that ball.
Fisher has failed to deliver on any of the above mentioned necessities this season and this is an issue that will only worsen.
For years we’ve given the Lake Show the benefit of the doubt. We knew Fisher would deliver when it mattered most so we overlooked him getting torched by Troy Hudson years ago and J.J. Barea last season. Fact of the matter is we already know Fisher’s few contributions aren’t nearly enough to get this team into a position in which his clutch nature is even necessary.
Yes, David Stern cowered to Dan Gilbert in the face of the Lakers landing Chris Paul. That was Mitch Kupchak’s open admission that he knows what the problem is. However because of the whole debacle the Lakers lost the closest thing they had to a floor general in Odom…and got nothing in return.
The Sacramento meltdown was a perfect example of how limited the Lakers are with Fisher in the staring lineup. All night long the Kings ran circles around the Laker guards. While the Kings torched the Lakers from the perimeter the past excuse was Fisher would deliver in the clutch.
Well…in case you missed it…Fisher couldn’t even get his shot off when the game was in the balance last night.
Now not all of this blames falls on Fish. Steve Blake is by no means capable of playing big minutes for a title contender. He’s still very inconsistent as evident by his scoreless outing in NorCal. Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris are options but not upgrades…at least not yet.
The real issue relates to where the Lakers stand in this overhaul process. There are no secrets. The front office knows the areas where the most help is needed. The question is how aggressively will they pursue better options?
I’m here to say that with more moments like we’ve seen these first two games the real question could be how soon will the rebuilding process begin?
Unless a major move is made this season then the window on the Kobe Bryant era could come to a disconcerting close. Without improved point guard play this franchise is going nowhere except to playing second fiddle in their own building.