Thursday’s Los Angeles Lakers practice felt strange.
As the doors to the practice court opened, the Lakers were taking part in 5-on-5 drills with Steve Blake, Jordan Farmar and Steve Nash all on the court. The Lakers suddenly went from a team with only one point guard, Kendall Marshall, to a team that had four point guards.
Before Mike D’Antoni had the welcomed headache of figuring out how to fit the stable of returning point guards into the rotation, the coach had to deal with Friday’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Blake, Nash and Farmar were ruled out against Charlotte, and all three admitted that they were not quite ready to put on a game jersey and hear their names announced over the Lakers’ PA.
“If everyone comes back at the same time, it might be a little hectic out there at the point guards spot,” Farmar said Thursday. “I have a week or so to gradually get into it. And when I go, I won’t have to play all the minutes. So, I can gradually work my way back into it, build some endurance back in my legs.”
Farmar hinted that his return last time around accelerated quickly.
“I’m taking it day-to-day,” Blake echoed his fellow injured point guards. “Shooting from long range is a little bit difficult right now. The ball feels heavy, still pain in there when I shoot.”
Still, the excitement was apparent.
“It feels good playing with them guys out there today,” Nick Young said about having the injured contingent back. “Seeing Blake, Steve Nash out there, Jordan Farmar, feels great.”
With this year’s Lakers, no day would be complete without talking about negative injury news. Jodie Meeks had a sore right foot, and Pau Gasol had a sore right groin. Both were listed as probable, but Gasol was unable to go through practice.
“My groin is sore, so I just got to keep working on it,” Gasol explained. “The groin is a consequence of the toe issue. That’s still not healed. Because of the tape job that I play with to protect the toe, it’s affecting directly my groin.”
“It just makes me put the load differently, run differently, because I’m protecting the toe, so I’m putting more weight on my other toes and kind of changing my load. And it’s putting a lot of pressure to my right groin. That’s why it’s been pulling, and last game, it was just really sore.”
Despite Gasol’s issue, Thursday’s practice felt like a massive step in the right direction.