The Los Angeles Lakers have started the season 0-3 and situations have got worse as point guard Steve Nash has been ruled out for a week with a leg fracture.
The injury came in Wednesday’s defeat against the Portland Trailblazers after a collision with Damian Lillard.
Nash missed Friday’s 105-95 defeat against the Los Angeles Clippers and the Lakers are without a key component in their Princeton-style offense, which has so far been unimpressive in the pre-season (0-8) and so far in the regular season.
The injury to the historically-healthy Steve Nash is already going to cause the Lakers problems, and on Halloween night Mike Brown‘s side faced a real scare.
For the Clippers game Steve Blake was installed at point guard and scored 8 points and two assists with three turnovers, compared to Chris Paul who recorded 15 turnovers – the same number as the entire Lakers roster.
Although a week sitting on the bench doesn’t suggest the worst injury, for a 38-year old who hasn’t faced much time out in his career, this could prove to be a concern.
If the Lakers are to continue to run with the highly-talked about Princeton offense, it is imperative that they have a regular starting five in place. Although a good shooter, Blake is nowhere near as effective as Nash, especially in transition, and during his time off the court we are going to see how important Nash is to the side.
For a team that has lost their last 11 games, the loss of Nash is a huge blow as Mike Brown was hopeful that the former two- time NBA MVP was going to be the key part in setting up Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard.
With Nash out, Kobe will be the man they will look to running the offense, something that he will be used to doing.
During the clash with the Clippers, Kobe recorded 40 points and in the fourth quarter took the game into his own hands as his shots were falling. He saw a stretch where he scored 11-13 and ended up with 17-28 points for the quarter.
Although it would be highly critical to say this early on in the season that the Lakers playoff ambitions will be hindered, the injury will still have an impact as Nash will be courtside for the next week.
The Lakers have struggled defensively, and the absence of Nash could result in the inability to score as many points to keep up with their opponents.
While there are still are 79 games for the Lakers to turn around their 0-3 start – their first since 1978 – there have many occasions where playoff berths have been decided by just the one game.
While it’s too early to speculate whether or not this injury is a one-off thing or if it will re-occur throughout the season, if the latter is true then the Lakers potentially could struggle offensively and could well fall from the top three spots in the Western conference, potentially joining the team in which they share the same building with, which would cause huge debates all around Los Angeles.