Just when Jordan Farmar, Steve Nash, and Steve Blake began practice, Pau Gasol is out with a strained groin injury. The Lakers have been a miserable team this season. They have fought hard since early in the season, keeping games close, and losing at the end. It’s like having a team trying to come out and give 150%. Eventually, everyone runs out of energy. It’s not a lack of professionalism. It’s not because they aren’t motivated enough by their respective salaries. It is just human nature.
It would give the fans something to watch to see a completely healthy team out there on the floor. Kobe Bryant may be out another four weeks or so, but even watching improved point guard play at both ends with Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake would go a long way. They’re able to keep up a high pace of energy on offense and sustain it throughout an entire game. The options they provide offensively are multidimensional. The team has become predictable with Kendall Marshall’s high pick-and-roll plays, or double screens to free up Meeks or Nick Young in isolation situations.
We just want to see something new.
Although the timetables haven’t been set for the return of the Laker point guards, it would add some interest back into the team to see, what could have been. The Lakers have been without their usual starting five far longer than with. Admittedly, watching Blake average a career high in assists and Jordan Farmar step up offensively did make the Lakers entertaining to watch.
Wouldn’t it seem best if the Lakers rested all of their injured players for just two more weeks? Sure, some of the players are healthier than others, but a few more practices before game time would allow their bodies to adjust at a slower rate, and hopefully become less injury prone for the rest of the season.
The ironman for the Laker team has been Jodie Meeks. Nick Young has had to step up for the past couple of months, but it is Meeks that plays with the level of energy that was once provided by Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar. That backcourt trio was the key to stealing a few Laker wins early on.
Pau Gasol has tried to hold the fort. For the month of January, he’s been averaging well over 20 points and 12 rebounds per game. He has done this through injury as well, not looking nearly as quick and explosive as he was during the championship years. He’s completely reliant on his skill game to outcraft opponents in the post, but a busted toe and a strained groin will simply limit mobility. Al Jefferson pushed him around in the low post and dropped 40 points and 18 rebounds against Gasol.
While Laker fans anticipate seeing a team that is able to run, there will be an adjustment period. It would just be nice to see all offensive options available to the Laker point guards to finish off the plays that are created.
Mike D’Antoni got his wish after all. He runs a rotation that is eight players deep. I’m sure he wasn’t expecting this.