ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported that “Nash has a small fracture in his left leg and will be out of the Los Angeles Lakers' lineup for at least another week.”
He suffered the injury in the team’s second game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Through three games his season, the Lakers have lost to the Dallas Mavericks—who were playing without Dirk Nowitzki—as well as the Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
In the season opener against Dallas, Nash tallied just seven points and four assists in 34 minutes. He played only 16 minutes in the game against Portland and finished with two points and four assists.
The showed clearly in their brief time with Nash on the court that it will take time for the two-time MVP to adjust to his new role in Los Angeles.
In Phoenix, Nash was the focal point of a fast-paced offense. He was allowed to dribble and create opportunities for his teammate, in addition to being encouraged to get out and run.
If the scheme L.A. used against the Mavericks is an indication for how they plan to use the All-Star point guard, he will mainly be a cog in the team’s Princeton offense, which is based on constant passing and movement. Nash’s main contribution in this half-court set is as a spot-up shooter.
Approximately how many assists will Steve Nash average in his first season with LA?
This clearly did not work for the Lakers, and Mike Brown and Eddie Jordan will have to make tweaks to the team’s offense as the season goes on. Nash will get more comfortable when running L.A.’s offense, and the coaches will try out new ideas, like letting Nash run more in the fast break or giving him minutes with the second unit, where he can operate more like he did in Phoenix are options.
But what Nash and the Lakers need more than anything is time. They must play games to work out all their problems, and with Nash out injured, the clock is winding down.
It is a long season, but Nash is 38 years old and there is a very real possibility that this will not be the only time this season he is out with an injury. Throw in the need to manage his minutes due to his age, and the time to ensure that Nash is completely comfortable as the Lakers’ floor general is not as long as it seems.
Los Angeles must hope Nash recovers quickly and avoids injury, because the team has plenty to figure out on offense before trying to play for a championship.