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Steve Nash Injury Dooms Los Angeles Lakers' Chances at 2013 NBA Playoff Run

Steve Nash and the Lakers are a far cry from where they expected to be at the start of the season with such a star-studded roster.
Steve Nash and the Lakers are a far cry from where they expected to be at the start of the season with such a star-studded roster.Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIApril 25, 2013

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash's continual injury setbacks have him playing at far less than 100 percent, which ultimately will be too much for his team to overcome to make a legitimate run in the NBA playoffs.

Nash has been fighting through hamstring and hip injuries, and is now doubtful for Friday's Game 3 Western Conference postseason clash with the San Antonio Spurs, according to HOOPSWORLD.com's Alex Kennedy:

Even the friendly confines of the STAPLES Center won't be enough to save LA from falling into a 0-3 hole in this Round 1 series. With that type of personnel off the bench and the loss of their next-best guard in Steve Blake, the Lakers simply can't match up.

The Spurs suffered through injuries of their own to star PG Tony Parker and sixth man Manu Ginobili, but that duo is playing exceptionally well over the past two games—unlike Nash.

Parker has continually torched the overmatched Nash, who is not known for his defense as it is. TNT's David Aldridge documents the tribulations the 39-year-old Nash went through on Thursday, showing just how difficult it's been for Nash to gut it out:

It has been a tumultuous season for the Lakers in 2012-13, and health setbacks to Nash and every other Laker starter have been partially to blame, along with the coinciding adjustment to new head coach Mike D'Antoni.

Putting Nash out on the floor in the state he's currently in is actually not in the best interest of the team—despite the lack of depth that exists behind him—particularly with Blake's impending absence.

Now that Pau Gasol has been given the freedom to pass from the inside, he and Dwight Howard have evolved into the formidable frontcourt they were expected to morph into. Unfortunately, they won't have Nash, Blake or superstar Kobe Bryant to complement them against the experienced, postseason-tested Spurs squad.

This has truly been a star-crossed campaign for the Lakers, and the additional setback to Nash is just the latest in a long line of ailments that have plagued Los Angeles.

Ballislife.com's Twitter page posted an ominous photo of Nash in a wheelchair, which is definitely not a good sign for the Lakers:

D'Antoni's "Seven Seconds or Less" offense needs Nash as the catalyst, as he won two NBA MVP awards playing under that same system for D'Antoni in his days with the Phoenix Suns.

Although the team defense may improve slightly with Nash out, the offensive firepower outside of the front line of Gasol and Howard is essentially nonexistent.

Unless Darius Morris plays unprecedentedly well or Drew Goudelock really heats up from beyond the arc, this series will likely result in a disappointing sweep defeat for the Lake Show.

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