At Lakers Practice on Sunday, February 2nd, 2014, Mike D'Antoni talked about the Lakers' recovering point guards and the team's options without Pau Gasol for the next week.
The Los Angeles Lakers met for practice on Super Bowl Sunday, and the practice court was not exactly teaming with life. Pau Gasol’s groin injury had lowered spirits beyond the demoralizing loss against the Charlotte Bobcats.
Still, the Lakers were looking forward to having a trio of point guards returning to save the day. Jordan Farmar, Steve Nash and Steve Blake all took part in their second practices of 2014.
“They looked good,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said about all three injured point guards after Sunday’s practice. “I think they came through it okay.”
The timeline was a bit hazy, and nothing was written in pen, but a Tuesday return for one of the three point guards was likely. Potentially, all three point guards could return by the end of the Lakers’ three-game road trip.
“My understanding, the two Steve’s (Nash and Blake) are closer than Farmar,” D’Antoni said. “The third guy to play would be Farmar, and I think it’s still not Tuesday. The two Steve’s, possibly (could play Tuesday).”
Looking into the front court, the Lakers now have the dilemma of sorting out who to start. The most likely starter would appear to be Chris Kaman, but D’Antoni has avoided giving the Lakers’ big man minutes for unknown reasons.
“He did a full practice,” D’Antoni said about Kaman. “He didn’t limp…so I’m assuming it doesn’t hurt.”
Kaman underwent an MRI on Saturday on his sore knee, and results came back negative. Kaman is available to play on Tuesday, but he did not talk to reporters after Sunday’s practice, as he was on the trainer’s table getting work done.
When asked if Kaman’s knee was the reason he had not been playing recently, D’Antoni shot back, “No, no, I mean that’s part of it. Obviously, it makes the decision easy.”
Gasol’s injury should pave the way for Kaman to start, as was the case two of the three games Gasol missed earlier in the season. However, D’Antoni’s response and his previous track record hints at something beneath the surface.
Regardless of health, Kaman starting on Tuesday is not a sure bet.