Lakers News: LA Will Continue to Struggle Without Steve Nash at Point Guard
New head coach Mike D'Antoni is eager to finally be able to utilize the elite floor general, as the two games Nash has played this season came under Mike Brown. D'Antoni coached Nash with the Phoenix Suns, but has yet to coach him when he dons the purple and gold of L.A.
According to The LA Daily News, D'Antoni is hopeful that Nash will be back soon.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said it was "possible" both Nash and Steve Blake could return from injury when the Lakers host the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday so long as they report no pain during Monday's practice.
Nash, on the other hand, is taking a more pessimistic (and realistic) attitude.
'I don't think so,' he said. 'I can't jog yet.'
Nash said his rehab has remained limited, the latest involving running on an elliptical machine and lifting weights. Nash had performed stationary ball handling and shooting exercises, but soon stopped over concerns he may risk further injury. He said he has worn electrical stimulation pads on his left leg for the past four or five days.
The Lakers have been struggling with Darius Morris and Chris Duhon playing point instead of Nash and Blake, going 6-5, including 0-3 on the road.
Nash has been ruled out of the team's game on the road against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, and D'Antoni's notion that he returns for Tuesday's game against the Indiana Pacers will probably prove to be false, considering that his timetable was recently called indefinite.
The return date that Nash needs to target is the team's December 4 game against the Houston Rockets. If Nash is not back by that point, the team is going to lose a lot of ground in the West.
Why is December 4 the magic date? I'm glad you asked.
The game on that day is a road game in Houston. That starts a stretch of eight games for the Lakers in 13 days, seven of which are on the road.
The Lakers have failed to win a single road game this season, losing all four road games by an average of 10.8 points. The team desperately needs its All-Star point guard back for these two road trips, or it could conceivably lose five or six of the games during this two-week period.
A big reason why the Lakers have struggled without Nash is that Kobe Bryant must now babysit Morris and Duhon in the backcourt, helping with the point guard responsibilities instead of focusing on being a scoring guard.
Gasol and D'Antoni are having a bit of a spat right now, after D'Antoni changing Gasol's role and benching him when he struggled.
Gasol has become useless without Nash at the point, and there has been speculation that he might be traded soon because of it.
The Lakers are a big of a mess right now, owning a sub-.500 record at 6-7. The team is missing its star point guard, and without him it will continue to struggle.
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