Hanging in the Balance
The issues that the Lakers have had at the point guard position of late actually date back to when Derek Fisher was let go following the team’s decimation in the 2004 NBA Finals at the hands of the Detroit Pistons. It’s no coincidence that Chauncey Billups garnered Finals MVP honors in that series. The year before that, Tony Parker had destroyed our defense with deadly pick-and-roll execution in the Western Conference Semifinals. To say the least, Lakers’ management had seen enough out of Fisher.
Fast forward circa 2010. Fish has always had a reputation for being a dependable hard-nosed defender who is not afraid to sacrifice his body and take brutal charges. His actual on-ball defense, however, has been anything but stellar since his return to L.A and quite frankly, even before he left. Fish’s value though must be measured differently.
Obviously going against big time ballers like Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Jason Kidd, Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups, and even Aaron Brooks three to four times each, per season is no easy undertaking and even somewhat unfair. However, as evidenced by the thrashing that the Lakers suffered last week at the hands of Russell Westbrook in that despicable excuse for a game, if a stud point guard has a team that is just as good as them, we are vulnerable to humiliating defeats. Fortunately, we have yet to lose a series with this current core group of players at the hands of a superstar point guard.
In theory, the Lakers could lose Derek (unrestricted), Jordan (restricted), and Shannon (unrestricted w/ player option for one more year) to free agency this summer. Then what?
Does anyone out there actually believe that we could acquire anyone that much superior to what we have on our roster?
Let’s take a look.