7.6 PPG, 4.7 APG, 1.7 RPG, -0.1 WS, -0.014 WS/48 on 30.6% shooting and 31.6% shooting from three point range. Grade: (Inc.)
There isn't much to write about a player who has only played 10 games out of the 53 games the team has slogged through this year. And if you're keeping count, Nash has played in 60 games out of 135 total games with the team. Nash has been sidelined for most of the season with nerve root irritation and has played some of the worst basketball possible when he has been on the court. Without his legs, his shooting stroke isn't there and his dribble penetration has suffered as a result. Nash is no longer the player he was; he isn't even a serviceable point guard at this stage of his career. It's sad to see such a dynamic offensive player limp to the finish line of his career like this, but it's a reality for every player. Father Time is undefeated, after all. The two-time MVP will consider retirement at the end of the year. For now, Nash is lucky he has an incomplete; if he played enough games, he would have been awarded a big, fat F.
Point Guard: Steve Blake
9.5 PPG, 7.6 APG, 3.8 RPG, 1.0 WS, .054 WS/48 on 37.8% shooting and 39.7% shooting from three point range. Grade: (B)
Steve Blake has long been a favorite player of mine, even during his disappointing initial seasons early on with the Lakers. Blake is a solid, all-around guard, who may or may not suffer from peer pressure (the noticeable change in play and quality of play whenever Kobe Bryant is on the court is astounding.) Blake has had one of his best seasons so far, averaging a career highs in assists per game (7.6) and rebounds per game (3.8), while putting up his best scoring output with the Lakers (9.5). Unfortunately, Blake has had to miss quite a few games thanks to a torn ligament in his right elbow, which is always bad, but more so whenever a player is putting together one of his finer seasons. We'll see if Blake can keep up this play, and, if he does, if he's willing to take on a smaller deal to stay with the Lakers.
Point Guard: Jordan Farmar
9.3 PPG, 4.9 APG, 3.2 RPG, 0.5 WS, .050 WS/48 on 41.5% shooting and 38.7% shooting from three point range. Grade: (B+)
Farmar has been unexpectedly good this year. And I really mean unexpectedly. Farmar was playing in Turkey for the past year and it was questionable whether or not he would play in the NBA again because he wanted more money than what teams thought he was worth. Luckily, Farmar, a UCLA product, missed his friends and family enough to take a minimum contract with the Lakers. Farmar has been slashing to the basket relentlessly and shooting well from deep to help compliment his penetration. Overall, he has done an excellent job of leading the second unit and maintaining a Mike D'Antoni approved pace. He wouldn't be a Laker if he didn't tear his hamstring twice, costing him a lot of games this year.
Point guard: Kendall Marshall
10.3 PPG, 9.5 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.4 WS, .086 WS/48 on 45.1% shooting and 46.5% shooting from three point range. Grade: (A++)
I can't say enough about Kendall Marshall and how big he has been for this team. He has been the best point guard on the team and he started the year without a job, before signing with a D-League team. He has been seriously good on the offensive end and has orchestrated the offense impeccably. There isn't much I can say about Marshall other than this: please come back for more than just next season.
Shooting guard: Kobe Bryant
13.8 PPG, 6.3 APG, 4.3 RPG, -0.3 WS, -0.082 WS/48 on 42.5% shooting and 18.8% shooting from three point range. Grade: (Inc.)
Six games. The most anticipated return of the Western Conference was up and down, and mired with turnovers. Kobe only played six games before breaking his knee. Take the rest of the year off, Kobe. Please.
Shooting guard: Nick Young
16.9 PPG, 1.5 APG, 2.7 RPG, 1.6 WS, .057 WS/48 on 42% shooting and 35% shooting from three point range. Grade: (C)
I love watching Nick Young play. He's exciting and infuriating at the same time. He creates his own shot in the most spectacular way this side of Kobe. While you will have your fair share of ugly, ugly moments, but he was still one of the only Lakers who can create his own shot, which was an important attribute down the stretch in games. The reason Young gets such a low grade, despite his 16.9 points per game, is his very poor defense. All of the others (save for Nash) at least try to play defense, while Young hasn't been doing any of that at all. Plus, Young's stat line this year has been roughly what his Per 36 numbers project, so he hasn't been playing any better than usual.
Shooting guard: Jodie Meeks
14.4 PPG, 1.7 APG, 2.8 RPG, 2.7 WS, .085 WS/48 on 45% shooting and 40.3% shooting from three point range. Grade: (B-)
Meeks is always a double edged sword. He can get hot in a hurry and be the most dangerous player on the court, but then, he can get cold and seriously hurt his team with his shot attempts. Meeks tries to play defense, but is usually not fundamentally sound enough to be good at it. He makes up for it by stretching the floor as good as anybody in the NBA today. Meeks has a career best in field goal percentage and in shooting percentage from three point range and has played well on the offensive end, despite his inconsistency. Hopefully, Meeks will decide to return after this year on the cheap to provide long range shooting.