The Los Angeles Lakers woke up on New Year’s Day closer to last place than a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
And their new starting point guard appears to be Kendall Marshall.
Jordan Farmar will miss at least four weeks after sustaining another tear in his left hamstring Tuesday, presumably making Marshall the sixth Lakers player to start at the point.
Marshall was hanging out in a hotel room in Texas when the Lakers called him two weeks ago. He was waiting for his Delaware 87ers to play an NBA Development League game against the Austin Toros.
Marshall hasn’t done much in four games, averaging 5.3 points and 2.5 assists. Assuming Coach Mike D’Antoni goes with him instead of Jodie Meeks at point guard, Marshall will be part of the Lakers’ 18th lineup in 33 games.
Before the depth of Farmar’s injury was known, D’Antoni answered with humor when asked what he’d do if Farmar missed significant time.
“You looking for a 10-day [contract]?” D’Antoni said to a reporter. “How’s your jumper?”
The Lakers did not practice Wednesday. Their next game is Friday against Utah.
Farmar left in the third quarter of a painfully boring 94-79 loss to Milwaukee. He missed 10 games with a different hamstring tear in the same leg last month.
Injuries have a way of making a team ineffective. And unwatchable.
The franchise that has provided so much entertainment to Los Angeles over the years is four games ahead of 15th-place Utah and five or six games behind Dallas for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Kobe Bryant (fractured knee) and Steve Blake (torn elbow ligament) won’t be back until late January or February. Steve Nash remains sidelined at least three more weeks because of recurring nerve damage in his back. Xavier Henry won’t know more about the extent of cartilage damage in his knee until next week.
As Nick Young said, “When Coach looks up at the bench, there’s not too many people he can put in.”
Even the normally ebullient Young seemed less upbeat Tuesday after the Lakers lost to the team with the NBA’s worst record. He said he wanted to go back to “having fun again.”
“We get down on ourselves too much if anything’s not going our way. We kind of let that affect our game,” he said. “We’ve got to still have that swag, have that up-tempo energy and have fun out there. We ain’t had fun in a while.”
Losing six consecutive games will do that to a team.
The Lakers (13-19) lost six in a row last season too, but that team, for all its shortcomings, had too much firepower to miss the playoffs, even though it came down to the final week of the season.
This team? Good luck.
Young had one final thought before leaving the Lakers’ locker room on the final day of December.
“I’m glad 2013 is over,” he said.
Around the league
The Milwaukee Bucks, who entered the NBA in 1968-69, are 2-6 on New Year’s Eve after beating the Lakers 94-79 on Tuesday night. The only other victory came on the final day of 1969, when they beat the San Diego Rockets 143-126 with 35 points from future Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Lakers are 8-4 on New Year’s Eve and 4-2 since moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles. ... Washington swingman Glen Rice, who had surgery on his right wrist last month, had the sutures removed from it Tuesday.