Point Guard Pickin’: Los Angeles Lakers

Adam Beard

The Los Angeles Lakers’ season has been one of chaos and injuries, especially at the point guard position.

At the beginning of the year, future hall of famer Steve Nash was expected to run the show and maybe surprise fantasy owners by showing some flashes of his days in Phoenix as a member of the Suns. After all, he was ranked 79th overall before the season in Yahoo leagues, ahead of point guards like Isaiah Thomas, Jameer Nelson, Michael Carter-Williams, Trey Burke and so many more that have been much more valuable thus far due to Nash’s back issues.

Steve Blake was another guy that some expected to be a contributor at the point guard position for the Lakers. Like Nash, the injury bug bit him as well, as he battled a torn elbow ligament.

And then there was Jordan Farmar, who terminated his contract in Turkey to take less money to rejoin the Lakers, but struggled to stay on the court with a nagging hamstring injury.

With these three out, the Lakers were desperate to sign Kendall Marshall, who is just a year-and-a-half removed from being the thirteenth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. In the 20 games Marshall played with his fellow point guards injured, he averaged 10.2 points and 9.3 assists per game, making him a great waiver wire pickup.

However, Nash, Blake and Farmar are all back now for the “Lake Show.” Farmar and Nash have received some rest here and there in the three games they have been available, and Blake has played in three straight contests.

The main point – it may be a little difficult for fantasy owners to determine which Lakers point guard will be the guy to own in leagues down the line.

Stemming from their days together in Phoenix, Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni is a fan of Nash, saying earlier in the week: “He’ll start, and we’ll see where he is.”

Well, Nash has played and started in two of the three games he has been cleared to play in. On Tuesday, he played an unexpected 25 minutes, finishing with seven points and nine assists. He took a game off and returned to the starting lineup Friday, playing 28 minutes, scoring 19 points and dishing out five assists on his 40th birthday.

D’Antoni also made a case for Blake earlier in the week saying: “we need (him) on the floor, no matter what.”

Blake has been impressive in his three games back, averaging 8.3 points, 9.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds in a hefty 36 minutes per game. That includes a triple-double against Cleveland on Wednesday.

D’Antoni didn’t stop at Blake and Nash, adding that “Farmar deserves to play” too.

Farmar has only played one game recently, and that came Wednesday night against Cleveland when he played 33 minutes, scoring 21 points and gaining six assists.

That leaves Marshall, whom D’Anotni has said will “have to compete.”

With the simultaneous return all the point guards that were expected to play for the Lakers during the first half of the season, fantasy owners are most likely in a quandary on who to grab in their respective leagues.

Who knows what D’Antoni’s real plans are, but I would suggest going with Nash or Blake. D’Anotni has a man crush on Nash, so you can never count him out, and Blake is going to get his minutes at both the point guard and shooting guard positions. Each of these players will get you 3-pointers, assists, occasional rebounds and probably 10 points per game.

Farmar is still making his way back into the lineup, so I don’t think he is trustworthy at this point.

As for Marshall, if you were one to get him off the waiver wire, go ahead and drop him. He is essentially a fourth-stringer now and not going to see the floor as much, barring any more injuries to Nash, Blake or Farmar.