You’ve heard the expression, ‘hurry up and wait”? That pretty much sums up what most fans of the Los Angeles Lakers have been doing since the start of the season when it quickly became apparent this team was long in the tooth and short on the bench.
The Lakers have especially struggled at the point guard position, with the combination of Derek Fisher and Steve Blake underperforming due mainly to age and injury. The stats are black, white and bleak—needless to say, the PG spot is a big hole and without an upgrade this season the team’s chances of advancing far into the playoffs are mediocre at best.
With the trade deadline just two days from now, the Lakers continue to dial, text, email and knock on doors of just about every team in the NBA as they pursue a point guard with speed, shooting ability, defensive prowess and the necessary tools to effectively run an offense that’s been mired in the muck, near the bottom of league statistics for most of the season.
The 32-year-old Blake has come back fairly well from a major rib injury that sidelined him for more than a month. Still, as backup to the 37-year-old Fisher, Blake is only averaging 5.6 points in 24.5 minutes per game for the Lakers on just 37 percent shooting. He’s not been great at penetrating the basket, content mostly to stay on the perimeter where he’ll occasionally make a nice pass into one of the bigs (Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum) or hand off to Kobe Bryant.
Fisher is the captain of the team, a tremendous, inspirational leader who still comes up with a big shot or defensive play from time to time. But most opposing point guards are running through and around the 16-year veteran with relative ease, getting to the basket or passing off to an open wing.
So, let’s forget the numbers for a moment and just take a look at five point guards who might really help this team.
How the Lakers actually get one of these outstanding PGs to Los Angeles is another story; they do not have a lot of leverage and must decide if they want to give up someone like Gasol in order to bring in a point guard who could be a difference maker.
The clock is ticking and the season hangs in the balance.