Steve Blake out indefinitely with chicken pox

April, 12, 2011
4/12/11
2:43
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Andy Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Per our man Dave McMenamin ...

When looking ahead to Tuesday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said that the Spurs have a much deeper team than the Lakers.

The bench disparity could be even bleaker for the Lakers after Steve Blake did not make it to shoot-around on Tuesday because of an illness.

The team announced later Tuesday afternoon that Blake has chicken pox and would not play Tuesday; beyond that, he is out indefinitely.

As someone who got a "Gentleman's D+" in A.P. biology during my senior year of high school, I'm hardly the world's foremost authority on chicken pox, but the safe money appears to be on counting out Blake for a while and hoping for a pleasant surprise when it comes to the recovery.

In the meantime, how best to pick up Blake's slack?

Shannon Brown could see more possessions running the offense, but given his recent tendency to over-dribble and make bad decisions, the ball in his hands more often feels like a dicey approach. Luke Walton's triangular acumen may translate into some burn at the guard spot on offense while taking defensive assignments at the three, with Matt Barnes checking shooting guards. (Assuming Barnes is healthy, that is. His right knee is acting up again, and he's listed as a game-time decision.) D-League guard/scoring machine Trey Johnson -- among the final two cut at training camp -- just got called up, but it remains up in the air whether he'll be a part of the action moving forward.

Or, the rotation may just tighten with Barnes presumably available, which means increased minutes for Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher and Lamar Odom, all capable of playing Blake's role. It's not the ideal scenario, particularly considering the odometers of Bryant and Fish. Then again, neither is a key member of the rotation getting the chicken pox right before the playoffs. Like many situations in life, just gotta roll with it.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0