Steve Blake day-to-day with rib injury

January, 12, 2012
1/12/12
5:58
PM PT
Kamenetzky By Brian Kamenetzky
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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More specifically, a costochondral fracture (a fracture of the cartlilage connecting the rib to the sternum say the Lakers, for those who haven't finished each season of their "House, M.D." DVD collection).

Blake originally suffered the injury Tuesday against Phoenix, then aggravated it in the third quarter last night in Salt Lake City against the Jazz. He didn't return, and will be re-evaluated in the next couple days, but it's reasonable to believe his availability for Friday's game against Cleveland, then Saturday vs. the Clippers is murky.

Obviously I can't say with certainty it's the same thing, but in my glory years I had a rib cartilage injury that sounds awfully similar, and in my case at least it was almost comically painful. There's a reason Blake looked like he wanted to lie down and die last night on the tv broadcast. Later, he told ESPNLA's Dave McMenamin basic things like breathing and laughing brought the hurt.

(Meaning if you see Blake on the street, don't lead him up steep hills and keep those witty one-liners to yourself.)

By now we all know the Lakers aren't rich with high end point guards, so losing any depth there hurts. It's all relative, but Blake has been the team's most consistent point producer at the 1, showing far more comfort in Mike Brown's offensive system than he did in the triangle. He'd also playing substantial minutes, over 24 a night, including key stretches late in games. Missing games means likely means more time for Derek Fisher, and presses Darius Morris into service.

I'm a fan of Morris' long term potential, but as we saw Wednesday putting him on the floor means a wide variety of results. Some good (penetration, more quickness,etc.), some bad (tendency to dribble too much and to places he shouldn't go, slower decision making due to lack of experience, and so on), but almost all unpredictable. If there's anything the Lakers don't need offensively, it's another injection of unpredictability. Fisher meanwhile, at least through 12 games, has offensively been the wrong kind of predictable.

Hopefully Blake is able to return soon. Otherwise, the lack of depth with which L.A. entered the season, already problematic, just got worse, likely adding more to Kobe Bryant's plate.

Which is fine, because he's not really doing any heavy lifting these days, right?

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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