The hits keep coming for the Lakers, who announced Monday that backup point guard Steve Blake will undergo abdominal surgery Wednesday and will be sidelined from between six to eight weeks. Blake hasn’t played since Nov. 12, and might not be back until early February.
“It’s a big concern for me,” Kobe Bryant said of the prospect of losing Blake for up to two months. “Steve and I have always played extremely well together. He’s a clutch shooter and a tough competitor. That’s one of the things I like about him, is his toughness.
“We’re going to miss him a lot. I’m not sure he’s going to be out, but it could be a while.”
Blake sat out his 10th game because of the injury on Sunday night, when the Lakers lost to the Orlando Magic and fell to 8-9 overall. He played seven games this season, averaging 5.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 26 minutes.
Meanwhile, starting point guard Steve Nash continued his slow recovery and rehabilitation from a fractured lower leg, performing a series of post-practice drills Monday. He can’t run yet and said Sunday he’s not expecting to play on the Lakers’ three-game trip, which begins Tuesday in Houston.
Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said he might consider starting veteran Chris Duhon at point guard in place of Darius Morris, a second-year player who played only 19 games in the NBA before this season. Duhon played almost 30 minutes Sunday against the Magic.
“A lot,” D’Antoni said when asked how much he was relying on Nash to help the team turn around its lackluster play, which includes a 3-4 mark since he was hired to replace Mike Brown. “I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t coached him before. He’s done pretty well when we’ve been together.”
Of making a switch at point guard while Nash continues his recovery, D’Antoni said, “There’s a chance. We’ll see. We’ll talk about it tomorrow. That’s nothing against Darius. He’s learning. He’s got to get better. But I could (start Duhon against the Rockets).”