This is Darius Morris #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers, who will be starting Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs...yup
At Lakers morning shootaround, Steve Nash walked out of the training room to talk to the media and set some reasonable expectations.
“Doubtful,” Nash said. His limp had subsided, but making it back in time for Game 3 was a race the Lakers point guard appeared to be losing. He would be a game-time decision according to Mike D’Antoni, and Jodie Meeks fell into the same category as Nash, but Meeks was even more doubtful than the 39-year-old.
Honestly speaking, Nash did not appear optimistic about playing on Friday night.
So, Andrew Goudelock is most likely to feature from the start. Darius Morris has already been guaranteed the shooting guard position, so the Lakers’ starting lineup looks like Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace, and two kids.
As an added note, World Peace had 20 ccs of liquid drained from his knee ahead of Friday’s game. The liquid was not related to World Peace’s recent surgery, but it just reiterates how unhealthy the Lakers have been this season.
If that reminder was not enough, Kobe Bryant was on crutches at the practice facility during morning shootaround. He was receiving treatment from the Lakers training staff, and D’Antoni floated the idea that No. 24 would be sitting on the Lakers bench during the game. However, whether Nash joins him on that bench would not be confirmed until game time.
Aside from Morris and Goudelock, the Lakers other choice at the guard position is Chris Duhon. Duhon, however, has been more of a veteran in the locker room than an asset on the court. Duhon still draws slightly more respect from NBA officials than Morris and Goudelock, but his last appearance resulted in three turnovers in four minutes.
If Goudelock wants to play heavy minutes and have an impact, he needs to hide from Tony Parker on the defensive end to avoid whistles. However, he should use his offensive assets and attack Parker on that end of the court. Actively playing on only one end of the court may seem counter-intuitive, but if Goudelock cannot stay on the floor, the Lakers don’t have anyone who can play on either end.
“We’re ready to go. We have confidence in each other,” Howard said at the end of morning shootaround. “We still believe that we can win this series and win the title.”