With Steve Blake going down with injury, Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers will need to pick up the ball and play point guard for the Lakers.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers met for practice, but news streaming out of the facility before it officially opened to the media was not good. According to Lakers PR, Steve Blake had an MRI on his right elbow and found that he had a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He is expected to miss six weeks.
With Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar already out injured, the Lakers were already thin at the position.
“Now, we have no point guard,” Pau Gasol stated succinctly.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said the team would go "bigger," and Kobe Bryant would be playing point guard with Xavier Henry backing up Bryant. Bryant fits the mold more, but Henry was converted into a point guard following Farmar’s injury. Neither are true point guards--especially on the defensive side of the ball.
“He played about four, five game with a torn ligament in his elbow,” D’Antoni said about Blake. “He practiced left handed, and then, he would play right-handed.”
Blake has always had a reputation for being a tough player, but it is incredible to think that he went out and scored nine points and handed out 10 assists on Tuesday night against the Phoenix Suns.
“It happened at the end of the Wizards game,” Blake explained the injury on Thursday. “I hit John Wall in transition…I went for a steal, kind of jammed my arm up into his body. Pretty sure that’s when I tore it.”
Blake played six games with the injury before deciding to get it check out properly. The results were not good.
“I’m just really heartbroken for him,” Bryant said about Blake. “He’s put in a lot of work. He’s having a phenomenal year, so [I] feel really really bad for him.”
Bryant will take over point guard duties, and the Lakers will have to go bigger. However, D’Antoni would not share exactly how he would line up his team for Friday’s game in Oklahoma City.
This injury could not have come at a worse time. Starting Friday, the Lakers play four games in four different cities in only five days. Bryant’s legs and this team’s resolve will definitely be tested.