The Lakers have been playing pretty awful as of late but last night's game against the Clippers was nearly unwatchable. The game meant nothing to the Lakers so they opened up their rotation again and the bench played significant minutes. The Clippers were without Baron Davis and Eric Gordon. So what you got last night was the epic battle of Steve Blake's Clippers vs. Lamar Odom's Lakers. There was Chris Kaman vs. Pau Gasol as well, but long story short - this game was a meaningless boring game.
There were two things of significance last night; one, Steve Blake recorded a triple double, and two, Sasha Vujacic sprained his ankle. Blake had 23 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to record his first ever triple-double. It's no longer the elite point guards that are shredding the Lakers, now the slightly above average ones are doing it too. Blake was just outhustling everyone. Clearly a 6'2 point guard that weighs 170 shouldn't be grabbing 10 rebounds. He pushed the ball on offense creating a ton of fastbreak opportunities and facilitated great ball movement. The Clippers had 31 assists on 42 field goals.
As for the Machine - late in the third quarter Vujacic twisted his left ankle and had to be helped off the floor. X-rays were negative but it's been called a severe ankle sprain and that most likely means he won't be available for at least the first round of the playoffs and probably means he's done for the year. The Lakers are paper thin at the guard spot. They have two healthy point guards in Derek Fisher and Shannon Brown (even though Brown isn't REALLY healthy with that injured thumb and he's not REALLY a point guard). Jordan Farmar made a one-second cameo last night in order to have played in all 82 games this season but he's still nursing a hamstring injury. What this means is their bench becomes even thinner and they don't really have the luxury to go small. It also means Luke Walton will probably have to handle the ball a little more.
The Lakers are facing a lot of adversity right now. They were never able to gain momentum heading into the playoffs and now have to deal with a rash of injuries. Will all of this catch up to them? Their quest to repeat begins on Sunday.