Lakers’ point guard issues show up on court, stat sheet

Lakers guard Jodie Meeks reacts after being called for a foul against the San Antonio Spurs in November. Meeks admits he and teammates Xavier Henry and Nick Young have struggled at running things from the point.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

PHOENIX — It makes Lakers fans cringe to remember the Smush Parker era, a two-year span decidedly more goofy than golden and characterized by first-round playoff knockouts via the Phoenix Suns.

But what’s Parker up to these days? Can the Lakers sign him for a few weeks?

Down to their fifth-string point guard, the Lakers rode the lead horse in a turnover parade Saturday against Golden State, committing 24 turnovers with only 11 assists, one of the most unbalanced assist-to-turnover ratios in team history.

Upside-down math never happened quite like that in 2005-06 or 2006-07. Somewhere, Parker is smiling.

Of course it was a main reason for a 102-83 loss Saturday, alongside alarming 32.5% shooting.


When will it get better? Don’t count on Monday against Phoenix, which starts two point guards in the same backcourt, Goran Dragic and blurry-quick Eric Bledsoe.

Recent Lakers signee Kendall Marshall had four turnovers Saturday (in only six minutes) and Jodie Meeks and Nick Young also had four. Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson had three each.

“The guys that are handling the ball right now — myself, Xavier, Nick — we’ve got to get used to it,” Meeks said. “It’s probably been since high school since any of us ran the [point].”

Meeks wasn’t even close to high school the last time Golden State swept the Lakers in Oakland (1994-95). It happened Saturday, the Warriors beating the Lakers twice this season at Oracle Arena by a combined 50 points.

This being the NBA, where every minute of every game is analyzed by scouts and dissected by statisticians, teams will surely start full-court pressing the Lakers like Golden State did.

The Lakers had seven assists in the first quarter but tailed off sharply from there — two in the second quarter and one each in the third and fourth.

Henry is having a career year but he’s not a true point guard. Neither is Meeks or Young.

“That’s a pretty good excuse,” Coach Mike D’Antoni said, adding that the Lakers needed to be “a little bit tougher with the ball.”

So they hope point guard Jordan Farmar practices Tuesday if he gets medical clearance for a torn hamstring.

Then they wait for Steve Blake, who continues to wear a bulky brace on his right elbow, even while sleeping, and Kobe Bryant, who hasn’t met with reporters since sustaining a fractured left knee last Tuesday. Neither is expected back until late January at the earliest. It is unclear when Steve Nash will return from persistent nerve damage in his back.

Gasol likely to play

Pau Gasol presumably will play Monday after missing Saturday’s game because of an upper-respiratory infection.

He had eight assists Friday against Minnesota. His unexpected absence was obvious against Golden State.

“We missed our big fellow Pau,” Young said.

Said D’Antoni to reporters: “Got any [health] remedies?”

Blake slowly progressing

Blake did some shooting before Saturday’s game. Sort of.

He shot entirely with his left hand, his right arm immobilized with a brace because of a torn elbow ligament.

“My left hand’s going to be sweet when I come back,” Blake said.

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan