Steve Blake #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers injured his hamstring during Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at at AT&T Center on April 21, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.
The Los Angeles Lakers may have lost more than just Game 2 on Wednesday night in San Antonio; they likely lost both Steve Nash and Steve Blake to hamstring injuries. Nash was already talking about getting another epidural in the postgame press conference, and Blake did not speak in any certain terms about taking part in Game 3 on Friday night at Staples Center.
“I just went to drive baseline and then just felt a sharp pain in my hamstring. It’s pretty painful right now,” Blake said after the game.
“Unfortunately, I tweaked [my hamstring] in the first half. And I tried to keep going,” Nash countered his fellow point guard. “It got worse as the game kept going.”
To make matters worse, Jodie Meeks, who was ultimately unable to play on Wednesday night due to a sprained ankle, was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday. Generally speaking, MRIs are usually not positive signs of a player getting back on the court.
With Kobe Bryant out, if Meeks, Nash and Blake cannot go, the Lakers will effectively be without their starters and first-choice backups at both the point guard and shooting guard positions.
Without much else available, the Lakers are looking to a pair of young point guards, Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris, to come in and have an impact. Goudelock was only signed two games before the end of the season and spent the majority of this year toiling around in the NBA’s development league. Meanwhile, Darius Morris had 18 “Did Not Play – Coach’s Decision” out of the last 23 games of the season.
If Friday’s game is close at the end, Spurs superstars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will likely see Goudelock and Morris lined up across from them. No disrespect to Morris or Goudelock, but Parker and Ginobili would probably have the slightest of edges in those individual matchups.
At some level, fans have to feel sorry for this season’s Lakers. However, there is an entire offseason to ponder whether this team was cursed or just inexplicably unlucky with injuries.
“This is far and away the worst season for injuries I’ve been a part of, personally and collectively,” Nash summed it up after the Game 2 loss.
Injured or not, if the Lakers do not win four of the next five games, this season will end. If that happens, Los Angeles and the Lakers will be stuck watching the Clippers on television, and no Laker fan wants that to happen.