Who will play backup point guard to Steve Nash for the Los Angeles Lakers this year?
Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar have already proven they both deserve the job. Last season Blake averaged almost 13 points per game, more than five rebounds and four assists while shooting better than 40 percent from behind the arc in the month of April.
Farmar’s stats are comparable to Blake’s. He last played in the NBA during the 2011-12 season with the New Jersey Nets, averaging more than 10 points per game, three assists and, like Blake, better than 40 percent in three-point field goals. And lest we forget, Farmar won two NBA Championships with the Lakers.
Age may decide who plays backup point for Nash. Blake is 33 years old, and Farmar is 26. And since Coach Mike D’Antoni wants to limit Nash’s minutes, he may be inclined to trust in a younger, less injury-prone player.
Because Nash is pretty beat up. He’s recovering from a number of injuries that he suffered last year, including injuries to his hip, back, hamstring and shin. That means that whoever does play backup point will be playing considerable minutes, and a younger player like Farmar may be in better condition to do so.
Or will Blake be in good enough shape to play? Like Nash, he too is recovering from a number of injuries he suffered last year, the most recent of which being a strained hamstring that forced him to sit out the Lakers’ series with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
Nash’s and Blake’s injuries highlight one of the most overlooked problems with the Lakers right now—the Lakers’ volatility at the point guard position.
Nash and Blake are old. They suffer injures, and they’re still recovering from some of them. And while Nash’s age has shown him to be a liability for the Lakers on defense (he’s slow, like Grandpa Wilson getting up from the Lazy-Boy and shuffling in his loafers toward the fridge to grab another bottle of soda pop kind of slow), a full season of D’Antoni’s frenetic-paced offense will certainly test Blake’s condition.
Which leaves Farmar—a player with talent but has yet to prove himself talented enough to start at point guard for a winning NBA team.
That means that going into the 2013-14 NBA season, the Lakers are depending on a second-string point guard who hasn’t played in the NBA in nearly two years to control the team’s offense.
Let’s hope Farmar improved his game while he played in Europe.
Lucas Rubio is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @PlayerzLeague.