Spotlighting and Breaking Down LA Lakers’ Point Guard Position

Since 1992, only once has a Los Angeles Lakers point guard been selected as an All-Star — Nick Van Exel in the 1997-98 season.

It's almost become tradition for the Purple and Gold to be bereft of even a league-average player manning the point guard position.

From the turn of the century until the 2011-12 season, the lead guard spot was held down by the likes of Derek Fisher, Chucky Atkins, Smush Parker and Ron Harper.

In each of those years—except in 2004 when Gary Payton made a one-season cameo to chase a ring—the Lakers' primary starting point guard had a PER below the league-average mark of 15.0.

Even including Payton, the average PER posted by Lakers point guards in those 13 years (prorated over a full season) was a lousy 11.88 — the same mark Matt Bonner achieved last year, which ranked 236th among qualified players.

The arrival of former two-time MVP Steve Nash was supposed to change all that. Although he was one of the oldest players in the league, Nash had an excellent track record and managed to stay healthy and productive even as his formerly great Phoenix Suns teams eroded around him.

Things didn't go quite as swimmingly as everyone expected.

Nash succumbed to the injury woes that throttled the entire team last year and only managed to play in 50 games. Although he remained a dangerous offensive weapon, he continued the long-standing tradition of Lakers point guards getting toasted on defense.

Last season the Lakers gave up more points to opposing point guards than any other team in the league, according to They surrendered an 18.0 PER while only mustering a combined 13.0 PER themselves, the second worst differential in the league at the position.

Strangely enough though, L.A. heads into 2014 with the more depth at lead guard than any other spot on the floor. Here's what we can expect from them ...

About the Author