The Los Angeles Lakers backcourt is in fairly awful shape, with Steve Nash, Steve Blake, and Jodie Meeks joining Kobe Bryant on the sidelines for at least Game 3 of their opening-round series against the San Antonio Spurs. Franchise icon Magic Johnson has declared the team has no chance of toppling the Spurs, and it's hard to disagree with him.
The guards tasked with replacing the Lakers are not in a position to give up hope, though, and must contend with the Spurs for Friday night's contest. One of them, sharpshooter Andrew Goudelock, has even stated that it's San Antonio point guard Tony Parker who should be worried about him. From Jim Caplan for NBA.com:
That means the 6-foot-3 Goudelock will draw San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker on the defensive end. How does Goudelocke, with 425 minutes of NBA action under his belt, plan to do that?
“Just stay in front of him,” Goudelock said, matter-of-factly. “He’s a really quick guy, don’t let him get anything in transition, stay up on the pick-and-rolls. He’s got to guard me too, so I’m not really worried about Tony Parker.”
My mother has always told me that anything is possible as long as I believe in myself, so I support Andrew's approach to this game. We believe!
There is no way to compare five-time All-Star Parker to Goudelock, but the young Lakers guard is not without some credentials. Although Goudelock only rejoined the Lakers a few weeks ago after being waived in the preseason, he performed well enough in the D-League to earn MVP honors this season.
The problem is that Goudelock's D-League stats — 21.4 points and 5.8 assists per game — aren't clearly better than Parker's NBA averages (20.3 ppg and 7.6). All NBA players should take their opponents seriously, no matter their reputation, but it's hard to find any perspective on this matchup that puts Goudelock and Parker on the same level.
Goudelock doesn't have to ascribe to rationality, though. That's a good thing, too, because believing in the impossible is probably the only way he's going to take control of this game for Los Angeles.