Steve Blake underwent an MRI exam Wednesday on his strained abdominal. The MRI confirmed that Blake will be out for at least another two weeks. With Steve Nash not yet ready to return, the Lakers personnel will not be changing in the immediate future.
With Blake and Nash out, Mike D’Antoni’s point guard-driven offense has not been providing the results many had hoped for. Second-year point guard Darius Morris was given starting duties by interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff, and D’Antoni has continued to give Morris the responsibility of starting games since taking over.
Morris has been splitting time with Chris Duhon while the two Steve’s are out. Duhon has history with D’Antoni in New York, and the coach clearly prefers the experienced Duhon to the younger Morris late in games.
In the loss to Indiana, Morris played less than seven minutes in the second half while Duhon played nearly 17 minutes. Neither point guard played well, so D’Antoni even tried shooting guard Jodie Meeks at the point for a couple minutes. It was a short-lived experiment.
Blake’s guaranteed absence combined with Nash’s undetermined status means that Kobe Bryant will continue to play the role of facilitator for the immediate future. Considering he had 10 turnovers and only three assists in the loss to Indiana, Bryant has not made a smooth transition from scorer to creator. Also, giving the ball to Bryant every time down the floor can lead to an unbalanced offense.
D’Antoni and the Lakers need Nash much more than Blake, but at this point, either Steve will do.