It has been a tough road for Steve Nash since leaving the Phoenix Suns to join the Los Angeles Lakers last season.
Aside from all the scrutiny his team has faced due to a lack of success with what was supposed to be a championship roster, he has not been the same player he once was since breaking his leg last season.
When he did come back, his impact on the game diminished as he adjusted to playing next to Kobe Bryant without the ball in his hands. This season, however, has been a different story. With Bryant out without a timetable, Nash was supposed to run Mike D’Antoni’s offense and help carry the team. That, unfortunately, has been anything but the case for the point guard, with good reason.
STORY OF THE DAY:
Nash has been a shell of himself this season due to what he believed to be nerve damage from the broken leg he suffered last season. He went to get it checked on Monday, and his suspicions were on the dot. Sam Amick of USA Today has details:
Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Nash met with back specialist Robert Watkins on Monday and was diagnosed with nerve root irritation, the team announced on Monday.
According to the team, Nash is expected to be out for a minimum of two weeks. He will receive an epidural block as part of his treatment, and be re-evaluated in 10 days. Nash was injured in the Lakers 113-90 loss Sunday to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He played 13 minutes in the game, totaling two points and three assists.
Nash ineffectively tried to play through the pain on Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Afterwards, he and the rest of the team shared their concerns over the situation, from Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA:
“I’m concerned,” D’Antoni said. “He was struggling physically tonight. You could just see it on his face. That’s why I took him out and we shut him down, more or less.
“I just see his face. I’ve known him forever, and when he looks like that, he’s trying to battle through something and just couldn’t do it.”
“I’m a little emotional,” Nash said. “It’s hard. I really want to play and I really want to play the way I am accustomed to playing. To be so limited is frustrating and also to not know where kind of a cleanish bill of health is [coming from] is a little daunting, too.”
“I appreciate his effort and his determination to play through the pain,” said Steve Blake, who will be called on to pick up the slack at the point in Nash’s absence. “So I love him for it.”
Said Gasol: “It’s upsetting that he’s going through this type of injury again. I’m concerned because he’s my teammate. He’s a guy that can really help us because we need guys that can create shots for other people and make it easy for other guys. He’s a great playmaker, but unfortunately, if you’re not healthy, no matter who you are, you’re not going to be able to do what you do.”
I’m no doctor, but given that Nash has had the entire offseason to get over whatever damage he may have suffered from his broken leg, this doesn’t appear to be a problem that will simply go away over the next couple of weeks. It’s a sad and troubling situation for one of the best point guards of the last decade.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
The Indiana Pacers are an impressive 8-0 after their latest 95-79 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The San Antonio Spurs are right behind with a 7-1 record after an easy victory against the Philadelphia 76ers. That didn’t stop Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers from proclaiming the Miami Heat as the most elite team this season, from Arash Markazi of ESPN LA:
Doc Rivers: “There’s one elite team right now in the NBA and that’s Miami. That’s it. Everyone else is trying to get there.”
CLIPS OF THE DAY:
– Chris Paul dropped Corey Brewer on a hesitation dribble. Brewer had the sense to laugh about it, but watch the replay and you’ll see why he laughed:
– Lance Stephenson showed on Monday that he is a very, very versatile player. The fiery guard had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists for his first career triple-double:
– If I had to pick out top 3 buzzer-beating shot makers in the league, Jamal Crawford would be on that list. Here is yet another amazing shot from the guard:
J.J. Hickson threw down what may be the dunk of the year so far against Marvin Williams:
DUBIOUS STAT OF THE DAY:
Against the Houston Rockets, Rudy Gay had an impressive stat line of 29 points, 10 rebounds and four steals. He did, however, manage to shoot an incredible 37 times to get his points, converting only 11 of those tries. It takes a special pair to shoot that much when you’re as off as he was. After watching him miss one shot after another, the Raptors finally lost 110-104 in double overtime.
OTHER NEWS FROM AROUND THE LEAGUE: