Add it to the compiling list of injuries for the Los Angeles Lakers. Starting point guard Jordan Farmar is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks with a torn left hamstring.
The Lakers have announced that Farmar will indeed be sitting out the entire month of January, at the bare minimum, in order to heal his hamstring and allow him to come back completely healthy. Meaning, this injury will keep him out of the annual “Grammy road trip” the Lakers embark on each season, a stretch of seven consecutive road games (one Western Conference meeting and six Eastern Conference meetings).
Last month, Farmar sat out 11 games with a hamstring injury in the same leg and had returned on Christmas Day vs. Miami. Now, Farmar is experiencing a tear in a different location of the left hamstring, which makes things a bit more complicated and, ultimately, devastating for the Lakers’ chances at getting this train back on track for an eighth seed in the playoffs.
Jordan Farmar expected to be out another 4 weeks after an ultrasound showed a tear in a different area of his L hamstring from the last one.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 1, 2014
After the Lakers’ humiliating loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night, Farmar told the media just how difficult the hamstring was to deal with:
“It (hamstring) was really tight,” Farmar said. “That’s the scary part about it. Every time I see something and want to make an explosive move, it kinda like stops me from doing that. So, it’s frustrating like I said.”
Perhaps the most disheartening part of the news is understanding that the Lakers’ backcourt depth is the worst that it’s been since I’ve even being alive. The only healthy body at the point guard position is … Kendall Marshall. It’s important to respect the talent of an NBA player and, in Marshall’s case, one that was arguably the best floor general in the NCAA during his time. However, you have to put it into perspective and realize that it’s Kendall Marshall, who had one of the worst rookie seasons (with Phoenix) that was greatly underachieving.
In the four games he has played this season for Los Angeles, Marshall has averaged 5.3 points, 2.5 assists and two turnovers per game, while shooting 57.1 percent from the field (8-of-14) and 55.6 percent from 3-point range (5-of-9). At least we know that he isn’t the type of point guard that’s going to force the issue and try to look for his shot all the time. With the increased minutes that he will get (averaging only 13.5 minutes in four games), Marshall will need to be the ball distributor that brought him to the spotlight at North Carolina. Sorry guys, it’s not happening.
The Lakers have acknowledged that they have four active players that can fill the backcourt positions; Marshall, Wesley Johnson (G/F), Nick Young (G/F) and Jodie Meeks. Words such as “nightmare” and “phantasm” don’t even begin to describe how atrocious this injury swarm has been for the Lakers. What makes it even worse, is that it’s coming during a season that was supposed to be horrid anyway.
With Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash all around the three-week mark for expected returns, this team is going to struggle to score points. The defensive impact isn’t even worth noting, considering this team has never played defense under Mike D’Antoni (what team ever has?).
In the loss to Milwaukee, a team ranks 27th in points scored per game, the Lakers allowed Milwaukee to jump all over them from the start. The problem may have just been shots not falling, but it seemed to remain the story of the night for Los Angeles. D’Antoni’s squad shot just 35.8 percent from the field and 29.2 percent from long range. Yes, Nick Young and Pau Gasol scored 25 apiece, but neither were efficient and could not get in rhythm.
It’s true what they say, the NBA is a “make or miss league.” And when Young and Meeks aren’t firing on all cylinders (just 3-of-12 from 3-point range Tuesday), the Lakers are going to struggle to break the 80-point scoring mark. Their 79 points in the loss to the Bucks was their lowest scoring outing of the season.
This team is going to eagerly await the return of Xavier Henry, who was diagnosed with a bone bruise on his right knee and is expected to be out four to seven more days, likely meaning he won’t be active for the Friday matchup vs. Utah.
The Lakers have now dropped their last six games, the last two being home games vs. teams at the bottom of the facetious Eastern Conference.
Next up on Los Angeles’ radar?
Two more home meetings vs. the Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets. With Marshall starting at point guard, something he has only done three times in his professional career, the man responsible for picking up the load is going to be Pau Gasol. His name swirling through trade rumors once again, this time with Cavaliers’ Andrew Bynum, it’s up to him to prove that he still wants to be in purple and gold. For the Lakers to have any shot possible at avoiding eight straight losses, the ball must move into the post and relieve the pressure off the perimeter shooters. Los Angeles shouldn’t feel that they need to hoist up 27 to 30 3-pointers a game to be successful. All it’s going to get them now is 15th place in the conference, which isn’t unforeseeable as of right now.
As the Lakers thought they should finish up 2013 with one of their most disastrous home losses of the decade, they better have a plan to make 2014 better for their fans, business, and themselves.
Even if the “T” word is becoming the most clear-cut option sitting at 13-19 with their roster dropping like flies.