With a 3-5 record and fourth place in the Western Conference Pacific Division, the Los Angeles Lakers cannot afford any more injuries to key players. In fact, key Hall of Famers really needs to be off-limits. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case as point guard Steve Nash will join the already hurt Kobe Bryant on the bench for the next two weeks.
Nash was taken out in the second quarter of Sunday’s tough loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves after he experienced pain in his hamstring. The veteran reportedly has nerve root irritation that sends waves of pain through his back and hamstring. If Lakers’ fans feel they have heard this story before, that is because Nash went through this experience last season.
As of right now, Nash is expected to miss two weeks. The reality is it could be much longer. He needs to rehab to the point where he can deal with either the pain or work hard enough in order to fight through the injury completely.
The problem is Los Angeles is counting on Nash, especially with no known return date for Bryant. Sure, Nash hasn’t been lighting it up on the court as he has been averaging just 6.7 points per game. However, he does rank second on the team with 4.8 assists per contest.
What exactly does Nash’s injury mean for the Lakers?
At this point, it is more his presence than anything else. Nash is really not having that great of a season statistically, which is most likely due to the constant pain he has dealt with. The good news for the Lakers is that Steve Blake has been playing out of his mind in the early going, which means Los Angeles will be in good hands now that he will play more point guard.
Blake leads the team in assists (5.0) and steals per game (0.9). He also is fourth in points per contest (10.0) and he has converted 48.8 percent of his 5.4 3-point field goal attempts. Not to mention, he already has one impressive buzzer beater under his belt, which occurred on Nov. 7 against the Houston Rockets.
Losing Nash certainly is not good, but it could be worse. The Lakers could have lost the red hot Blake.