The Celtics game proved the Lakers should probably fill that last roster spot. But who's out there?
People seem to think the Celtic game proved a lot of things, but by now we Laker fans should know that beating or losing to the Celtics in the regular season doesn't carry over to the next round. However, I think it did show one thing very clearly. The Lakers need one more guard on the roster.
My username alone should tell you that I'm not one of those fans who think the Lakers desperately need to upgrade at PG like so many fans do. No, it has to be someone's job in this offense to be a leader and take an occasional shot without having their ego destroyed by being the player who touches the ball the least amount of time. Derek Fisher
fills that role perfectly. Steve Blake
seems to be cut from the same cloth, and although he's in a bit of a slump lately, the bench seems to contribute more consistently with him on the floor than under Jordan Farmar
That's not to say the Lakers don't miss Farmar. The one thing that Farmar provided was a change of pace. He was a guy who could make the opposing PG back-peddle and work hard and generally tire out the opposing defense who has no choice but to react to his penetration. Of course Farmar usually dribbled the ball off his foot or clanged it off the backboard, but he added a level of unpredictability to the offense. Sasha was the same deal. Near the end he didn't do much of anything on offense, so it's no wonder he got buried on the bench, but when he was at his best, he was a player who would make the opposing defense scratch their head, which is an underestimated role that good teams should have a person or two fill. Plus both these guys just matched up so much better with Nate Robinson
than either Blake or Fisher does.
They're gone though, and they're not coming back any time soon. That doesn't mean the Lakers can't find some guys on the cheap who can fill that role for a few minutes a game, which is realistically all the Lakers need (remember, I'm not saying the Lakers should be trying to acquire a great or even good PG, because let's face it, they're all tied up at the moment). My top choice, if the Wizards
don't sign him for the season, would be Mustafa Shakur
. He's one of the best defensive PGs in basketball (although it says a lot about how unimportant defense is at the PG position when one of the best defensive PGs is barely hanging on in the league), he's quick and good in transition, and around the rim. He's turnover prone but so are all the guys the Lakers could realistically sign right now. Jason Williams
might be an OK signing. He's not really all that good anymore, but he still has his moments, which is all the Lakers really need. Hell, the Lakers might even consider taking a stab at bringing in old also-rans who already know the system like Pargo or Morrison (who apparently most of the Laker players really miss and would at least spice up the FIFA 11 tournaments again).
Yes, none of these players I've mentioned are going to add a whole lot to the Lakers team. But they all would add the ability for the Lakers to change the pace in the backcourt for a few minutes at a time. And that might make just enough of a difference in a really close playoff series.