Steve Nash Injury: How Lakers PG's Injured Leg Impacts Team Early in Season

Darin Pike@darinpikeContributor INovember 1, 2012

October 30, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA;    Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash (10) guards Dallas Mavericks point guard Darren Collison (4) in the second half of the game at the Staples Center. Dallas won 99-91. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Lakers needed to add some punch to their team to make a playoff run. It's possible they forgot they also need that team to be able to survive a rough 82-game season.

Steve Nash was one of this year's major additions. The 39-year-old guard was acquired for four draft picks and was given a new three-year contract.

Shipping off draft picks is nothing new for Los Angeles, but the practice is beginning to take its toll.

The Lakers have stumbled to an 0-2 record and looked slow and over-matched against the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers.

The Lakers are rather shy on young, up and coming stars.

Instead, they have a starting lineup of Nash, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Metta World Peace. All five have age and/or injury concerns.

There has been talk of the Lakers working out a deal to bring Derek Fisher back. Nash has looked slow on the court and Fisher would offer more of the same. 

Fortunately, the injury to Nash is minor. It's basically a deep bruise. Via, Nash said:

Luckily it’s not any major structurally or something. It’s just a contusion in that area. By the time I got off the training table, there was almost no time on the clock to warm up (at the end of the half), so I ran out there and took a couple shots. But I didn’t have time to test it laterally and as soon as I tried to make a lateral movement, it just gave out on me. I thought I was going to be able to finish the game, but it just wasn’t ready last night.

Nash could be back in the lineup for the Lakers' home game against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.

The team plays nine of its first 11 games at home, allowing Nash to maintain a solid regimen in the training room. The first true road trip of the season isn't until November 21, at which time the injury should be completely healed.

But this points to a larger concern. This is the kind of injury that typically doesn't have a lingering effect on younger players. This is the second time Nash has been banged up on pick-and-roll plays this season.

The pick-and-roll has been a staple of Nash's success, but it's something Mike Brown isn't comfortable running. Brown is concerned that it won't help the team win playoff games. Nash reportedly has concerns of his own.

Mike Brown said Steve Nash "said he doesn't want to [play pick and roll every time] anymore because it wears him out."

— ramonashelburne (@ramonashelburne) November 1, 2012

Don't be surprised to see Brown use the injury excuse as a reason to exert some control over Nash and the offense. 

The Lakers are already off to a slow start and Nash's injury will cost them needed time to gain cohesion with the offense.

Nash: "It's about how can we collectively make each other better. I think this offense provides us w/ opp to do that, albeit, in time."

— ramonashelburne (@ramonashelburne) November 1, 2012

Lakers fans are likely to hit the panic button early in the season. The offense looks lethargic and it will take time to work out the kinks.

In reality, the time to panic was when Los Angeles traded two first round and two second round draft picks for a player that will likely be done producing before all the draft picks are even surrendered.

At some point, the Lakers need to recognize the importance of drafting young stars and allowing them to mature in the system.