Overlapping injuries to Steve Nash and Steve Blake left the Lakers last season seriously exposed in the backcourt.
Nash and Blake have fully recovered. Meanwhile, the Lakers added Jordan Farmar this offseason three years after playing as a critical reserve in the Lakers’ back-to-back championship seasons (2009-10).
“There will be room for all three of them,” D’Antoni said.
D’Antoni hopes to limit Nash’s minutes and possibly sit him in certain games to preserve the 39-year-old’s body, but he hasn’t ironed out specifics. Blake, Farmar and even Nick Young could see time at shooting guard during the preseason and perhaps beyond if Bryant doesn’t heal his Achilles tendon right away.
“I’m going to be prepared for that,” Blake said. “Whatever they ask of me, I’ll be willing to do.”
“We’re going to grow organically,” Farmar said. “We’ll see how it works out. It depends who’s playing well and gelling well together. It’s a long season. There will be plenty of opportunities for everybody.”
D’Antoni views both Blake and Farmar as ideal guards in his open-court, fast-paced system for different reasons.
Despite missing 37 games because of abdominal and groin issues, Blake averaged 7.3 points on 42.2 percent shooting in what marked his highest statistical output in his three seasons with the Lakers. D’Antoni endlessly gushes about his on-court instincts, and routinely shows film of him making “multiple efforts.”
“I don’t think there will be a lot of changes,” Blake said. “For me personally, there will be a good comfort level there with what he expects. I just hope to build off of what I did personally last year and what we did as a team.”
Meanwhile, D’Antoni gushed about Farmar’s toughness, perimeter shooting and expanded defensive role the former UCLA and Taft standout took last season in the Turkish basketball league. Farmar also returned to the Lakers on a one-year deal worth $1 million because he preferred D’Antoni’s faster-paced system than Jackson’s triangle offense.
“The ball is going to be in my hand,” Farmar said. “I’ll be making more decisions, taking more shots and being more aggressive rather than you hit the wing and go in the corner and play off of there.”
First things first. D’Antoni still needs to figure out the pecking order.
“It could change during the season,” D’Antoni said. “There will be a time for all of them. It just depends who’s hot early. I’m sure all of them will get good runs. “
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