Two More Weeks, At Least, For Nash

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Raise your hand if you thought you’d see Ricky Rubio and Derrick Rose on the practice court before Steve Nash returned from the broken left fibula he suffered Nov. 1.

No hands?

Didn’t think so.

There is an explanation for why two guys who suffered ACL injuries last season could be back in the mix at practice for their respective teams — the Wolves for Rubio and the Bulls for Rose — before the Los Angeles Lakers get the trigger man for Mike D’Antoni‘s offense back in their mix.

Nash’s fibula has healed properly, according to a Yahoo! Sports report from our main man Marc J. Spears. But there’s a nerve irritation, something that flared up during the rehabilitation process, that is causing him problems and delaying his return to the Lakers’ lineup.

If Nash has pain every time he puts any pressure on his leg, that would explain him missing 19 of the Lakers’ first 21 games and a few more. It also explains why Nash, 38, will have other hurdles to clear before he gets back to playing the way we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing him play the past few seasons.

The end of the month even seems a bit optimistic for a return to 100 percent capacity, provided that’s a realistic goal at all for a player his age who misses such a huge chunk of the season.

D’Antoni has spoken glowingly of his star point guard, playfully suggesting at one point that Nash will be able to solve many of the Lakers’ most glaring issues in 90 minutes or less. That’s either supreme confidence or plain foolish pride seeping out of the coach of a team that stands 9-12 heading into tonight’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Nash’s seems to be focused first and foremost on getting himself healthy and in shape before moving onto the larger problems of helping heal these Lakers, as he made clear to David Leon Moore of USA Today:

“I think it will be at least another two weeks,” Nash said. “I can move. I can shoot. I just can’t run full speed. And I’m not even in shape. I’ll probably need at least a week of practice once I start running.”

“I hope I can make a difference,” Nash says. “I think the team is close to doing well on their own. It’s hard. It’s like a second training camp. The guys haven’t had a lot of time to practice under Mike.

“We really haven’t had a chance to play together in a new system, and we’re trying to fight through that.”

Nash says when he watches the team, what he thinks is missing most is “just time together. It’s been a really difficult truncated season.”

With the losses mounting – four in the past five games, including the two most recent home games (against Orlando and Utah) – will there be enough time to turn things around when Nash returns?

“I don’t know, we’ll see,” Nash says. “I think anything is possible with this team. If we stick together and work hard, I think the sky’s the limit. But we’ve got a tall task ahead of us.”

Anything is possible with this team. They’ve already done the unthinkable by playing sub-.500 basketball thus far. Keep this up for another two weeks and they’ll have finished the first third of the season upside down, something no one expected from a team picked by many to be the class of the Western Conference and even the league when Nash and Dwight Howard were added to the superstar mix of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

But that was months, two coaches and two other point guards (Steve Blake, who is out for six to eight weeks after surgery to repair an abdominal injury, veteran Chris Duhon and youngster Darius Morris, who are doing their best to hold things down in the meantime) ago.

The Lakers have at least two weeks to see if they can’t fix some of their busted pipes without Nash.

Where they go from there is anyone’s guess …

66 Comments

  1. Kaneman says:

    I’d say trade D’Antoni for Phil.

  2. david says:

    the lakers need to trade steve blake to the boston for barborza an push for that trade to go thru an they need to start that now

  3. RICCO says:

    should sign Q. RICH AND D. WEST AND CUT EBANKS AND MORRIS… BRING ADDED CONFIDENCE TO TEAM. DEEPEN THE BENCH….

  4. Lakers-R-Us says:

    So funny to read these comments! Laker haters, Laker-fan haters, and Laker fans. I’m a Laker fan and the Lakers are playing badly right now! Even the great Kobe Bryant doesn’t have the answer as to why things are going this way. I’m gonna address the Laker fans here! The Laker haters and Laker fan haters are not part of my repertoir! The lakers have to get healthy. That is a big key. Nash and Gasol being out is big! So let’s wait and see what happens when they are at full strength! I think too many people are forgetting this! The teams that are thriving right now are fully healthy! At least the last time I checked!

  5. Victor says:

    I don’t think Nash back will help their defence. He can make the offence better and scord more point on board. The laker’s problem now is no body know what defence is. I believe this is not the coach only can make the changes. unless he play on the court. Defence should be in players’s mind you don’t want the other side player put the ball in net and you will do whatever to prevent that happen. Coach can show you the skill and co-operate with teammate but you need have defensive mind first and willing to do that in 48 minutes. All they need to do is to reduce the opp. by may be 6-8 points which will be OK.

  6. Victor says:

    I don’t think Nash back will help their defence. He can make the offence better and scord more point on board. The laker’s problem now is no body know what defence is. I believe this is not the coach only can make the changes. unless he play on the court. Defence should be in players’s mind you don’t what the other side player put the ball in net and you will do whatever to prevent that happen. Coach can show you the skill and co-operate with teammate but you need have defensive mind first and willing to do that in 48 minutes. All they need to do is to reduce the opp. by may be 6-8 points which will be OK.

  7. Lakers Management was too quick to fire Mike Brown. I guarantee you that as bad as they were playing at that time, they would most likely have jelled better and have a better record by now. Not to mention, Mike Brown was much more flexible with playing systems, whereas D’Antoni does not have any flexibility with his system. Mike Brown would have been better able to adapt to the needs of his players. All around poor management.

  8. NBA FAN says:

    Lakes need a bench squad let alone tougher defense , movements need to be made they starting five is not good as a team they need to put gasol and world peace on the bench to strengthen they subs that way the bench can have some scoring options especially when blake comes back and nash ,

  9. Andrew says:

    Lakers need you leader and a natural point guard who could handle the Mike D’Antoni’s tactic. He could change Laker’s misfortune since he always know how to make his teammates better. He is the 2 (supposed to be 3) MVP incase anybody forget. Lakers need him more than ever to change the flow of the game.

  10. Eliony (Pedales) says:

    Nooo

  11. Avise says:

    If anyone thinks the Lakers will overthrow OKC or San Antonio for the top spot, your’re straight up dumb.

  12. Jon says:

    This team will go down as the most OVERRATED TEAM ever!!! Major BUST!

  13. Cefri says:

    Bring back bickerstaff!

  14. Ricky says:

    I’ve been a Laker fan all of my life, and very unbiased. I called no ring at the begining of this season for this simple reason. NO DEPTH. Lakers can’t win if any of their star players get injured. How do we know that Kobe might not get injured after Nash returns or if Howard gets injured? They don’t have the personel to step up in these kind situations. When a star or 2 is out, you should still be able to beat teams like the Magic with your current line up.

    Dear Laker fans, this is not our year. Lakers will rebuild in 2 years, Howard will not resign, unless they can bait another superstar to keep him happy and rebuild with the remaining salary cap space, which will be plenty once Kobe and Gasol are off the payroll.

  15. Rocks says:

    Most comments remind me of someone who changes the TV channel after his team trail by 20 points in the first quarter. Tommorrow he’s surprised that his team won the game. It’s all about adjustments guys. New coach and new starting line up will require some time to adjust. And these are veterans so they will adjust. Don’t write the Lakers off as yet. The first quarter of the season was not pretty good then let’s look at the next 20 games. I know Kobe and the crew will turn things around. He is that kind of a leader. Playoffs? No doubt. Championship? Serious doubts!

  16. lakermig says:

    I pretty much lost hope, at this rate nash will be back after or slightly before the all-star break. And a lot of ppl are saying it’s not this problem, it’s this, and the truth of the matter s its all of them that’s why i cant see us getting much better anytime soon cause

    1.offensively we turn the ball over wayyyy too much i mean we had like 16 tunrovers in the first half last night (however that should change whenever nash actually starts playing)

    2.defensively we are complete rubbish and with the addition of nash and gasol nothing changes.

    3.free throws, yes when we keep loosing by about 7-9 points and would have missed a total of like 20 free throws, free throws are a problem.And not just for dwight (who finally hit slightly over 50% for the first time…kobe managed a better percentage from the floor)But everyone.

    4.Way more players besides kobe have to deliver.

    seems like a pretty tall order to me.

  17. Jumppong says:

    The Lakers must be a good team even with or without Injured Steve Nash, and Pau Gasol. it’s just that something must be worked out. they always say that it takes time to adjust to the new system. how long will it take them to adjust? if they will end up in the eight spot? every game is important to get the number one spot the lakers must win now. no need for some sort of excuses

  18. NBAfan says:

    Lakers are no where near championship form..that’s for sure….LOADS OF WORK TO DO…but they are still POTENTIALLY the most dangerous team in the league.

    Just make the play offs and start clicking at the right time and they’ll reach the finals home court advantage or not…

  19. AdamS says:

    As a Laker fan i tend to agree with a lot of people on here that first “I don’t Coach D! Anchovies ” is a horrible coach with a horrible system, secondly that the Lakers need to seriously step it up on defense. Third that even with Nash back the Thunder would roll all over them and Fourth the Thunder and Miami will probably be the final 2 but i See Durant winning it with an improved less selfish more efficient Westbrook . The Lakers would have a chance with a last year Bynum (i.e fit and playing) or a Phil Jackson/Brian Shaw coach that has the players he wants that are available, The Lakers management deserve this for the poor job of hiring a Coach and believing in an Offensive based Coach. Offense wins you games excitement and fan appreciation Defense wins you Championships i.e The San Antonio Snores <— Boring but effective.

    • brazzo09 says:

      Westbrook is 2nd in the league in shots taken. He is supposed to be a point guard. Lol he is as selfish as ever

  20. NBAFAN says:

    I knew it was a bad idea hiring D’Antoni for the job. The man doesn’t focus on DEFENSE at all. Look at how its affecting them. It was the same when he was in Phoenix. They were great but up to a certain point, the defense could have come in handy. And you’re gonna base your strategy on one man? What if something goes wrong with Nash again….then what are you gonna do?

  21. Kai says:

    Can the Lakers even make it to the playoffs this season?

  22. super g says:

    mike must go we want phil three all defensive players and mike cant stop a team from scoring 100 points he need to go now or else we are gonna lose d12

  23. kiko says:

    LALs will be in the final against NYNs this year.

    • Frank says:

      I find it highly unlikely that the Lakers will make the finals this season (I do hope that I am wrong because I am a Steve Nash fan) The Knicks will slide once Stoudemire returns.

      I think the finals will be a repeat of last season with the Miami and the Thunder.

      Miami in five again.

  24. Realistic says:

    I love gasol. But if we’re really going to stick to this system we need shooters. I say trade gasol for shooters. Maybe get a decent point guard like barrea from the wolves or seomthing and some bench players. Wolves did want gasol before. He doesn’t fit in this system. Otherwise it’ll be the same. Nash will sure decrease turnovers and increase field goal percentage but defense no. That’s Howard job and the other guys. Kobe needs to stop pointing fingers too. It’s a team sport you can’t just blame others for your loses. I’m a die hard laker fan but if they don’t step up team wise and move to at least 3rd in the west it won’t look to good.

  25. Sean says:

    I hope Nash can make a difference when he comes back.

    Let’s go Lakers!!!

  26. Houdini says:

    Lakers management just delaying Nash’s return to the court to play with Gasol under D’Antoni. Why? Because Gasol is injured too, they would like to think Gasol’s play will turn up once Nash is playing, which of course ups Pau’s market value. Lakers are trying to deal him, and right now they can’t due to Pau’s perceived low value do to recent injury and play. If in case Gasol’s play really get a lot better once playing with Nash, that’s when you’d expect the trade to happen. And poor team who gets to have Gasol, old and soft. I hope teams realize Gasol is not worth their young talent(s) anymore, maybe 3-4 years back, but now? smh….

  27. RondoTheDramaQueen says:

    Marcus Camby is going to be just fine. Sheesh. Wait on this guys.

    Oh and trade Gasol to Orlando.

  28. Boka says:

    Problems,problems,defens,defens…Koby forgot how to play defensevly…even with this roster team may play much better.The picture of the sistem is OK,but soulists are lazy boys..They need good Priest or Rabay…hwo may convins them to be responseble piople-pleyers

  29. vincent says:

    trade artest lol. lets face it, ever since hes become a “better” person, the trade off has been his performance is just sub-par compared to houston at least.

  30. R E E says:

    “Truncated season” ??
    Steve Nash is acting like this season mirrors last years lockout that did indeed truncate a season.
    He’s had a full training camp, an 0-8 pre-season record, and got hurt on a freak play at half court.
    2 more weeks of practice before he can START running sounds like Nash won’t see NBA playing time until just before or after All-Star.
    But hey, that’s when those in the know REALLY expected the Lakers to turn it up anyway…right?

  31. dj rgm9 says:

    Yo Game time@,just shut up!!!You always shows up at Lakers comment blog like a 12Y old kid,always the wrong blog’s just stay at Thunder’s will you?do us a favor!!!

    • Game Time says:

      Sounds like you just don’t like the truth. It’s funny how Laker fans can go around talking about other peoples teams (when they were winning championships), but now that things don’t look so good you want others to shut up; bunch of hypocrites. BTW I’m not a Thunder fan, and this is not specifically a blog for the Lakers, but of course you being a Laker fan believe everything is yours and no one should say anything unless you approve.

  32. dj rgm9 says:

    It’s just that simple no defence>no rings!!!!!

  33. dj rgm9 says:

    Yo D’Antoni the Lakers have to work theyr ..s off evry training session on each defence style primary goal n1,work it!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Nick says:

    I agree, in that the Laker’s problem is on the defensive end, but I also believe the return of Nash will improve morale. True, they put up a lot of points, but that is a function of sheer offensive power right now, not offensive efficiency. When Nash returns the offense should become more efficient, creating more touches for more players, and less struggle required by Kobe and Dwight to carry the load. All of this should improve morale which helps all aspects of the game. Also, Dwight moves like no other center in the league. The Laker forwards are still learning how to accommodate his style which requires much more movement on their part.

    It took Miami a whole season to learn to play together without a coaching change, nor injuries to their top players. Why shouldn’t it take LA a season – or at least half a season – given that they are experiencing both? When they gel, look out!

  35. javajim says:

    nash really is arguably the best point guard of the decade but i don’t think even he can fix things in lakerland. there are just too many problems; from Kobe’s 20+ shots to Gasol not fitting the new system. there’s just too much individual pride for this to work

    • MambaForTheWin says:

      Nash will make any individual pride disappear with his elite playmaking skills. Once he’s back he can figure out a way to get Gasol properly involved. That’s what great point gurads do best.

  36. Game Time says:

    Nash doesn’t sound so sure about his health.

  37. Hussain says:

    So what if they started slow and look badly? It is a long season. They have had a rough road early, now lets see who has a rough season late! Injuries will mount for other teams and the landscape will change as it always does. OKC ….injuries to Durant or Westbrook and the season is not nearly as bright. Memphis, Gaye, Debo or Gasol and the aame, Clippers have to have Blake and D. Jordan or they cannot win…..why is it so difficult to see the same with the Lakers having Gasol, Blake and Nash out….. Lost season….how stupid is that! Still got all of January, March and April to go.

    • Game Time says:

      That’s just sand and poor thinking. The hopes for your team rest on the misfortune of others. Also, now you guys need Gasol?

      • Frank says:

        He didn’t say that he wishes misfortune for these teams. He said that the situation would be the same for these teams if they had the same misfortune, due to injuries, as the Lakers are having.

      • Game Time says:

        And neither did I Frank…I said that he is hoping for that to happen because it would be the only way the Lakers could thrive in the playoffs…big difference between the word hope and wish.

      • Frank says:

        OK. Now explain to me the difference between the words hope and wish.

  38. Caleb says:

    You know I agree with frank he’s right this isn’t a free throw game sure free throws are important in some ocations but in this game you need d d d come on help Dwight and you will see how lakers will charge to the top spot.

  39. ProLAL says:

    things cant ge any better than this.. no defense+no nash?? com’on!!

  40. Jemai24 says:

    Ohh come on Nash should return before Christmas -____-

  41. Vman says:

    The Lakers should be feeling desperate by now. Their offence is good even without Steve, with a few problems that seem solvable. Defense on the other hand is something Steve won’t help at all. He’ll just make defense harder. Everyone will simply blow by the old man. The Lakers defensive sets need a bit of improvement and Dwight need to be sat down at the end of some close games until Nash is back. D’Antoni needs to devise a way to bring the ball up and down without turning it over, that should limit the other teams FB points and keep them from making runs. Everything i just stated is fundamental bball and should be doable when you have 3-4 hall of famers in the lineup.
    As a team all they have to do is play more and be mature.(which D12 ain’t)

  42. Fo Real says:

    Overrated LA team … The west is to strong for me to say that they will just end up in the Finals Unless LA seriously starts winning. Like a 10game win streak or something.

  43. Frank says:

    Until Nash and Pau are back, i don’t think it’s fair to judge this team. They are running third and fourth string point guards in a system designed around being run bu a point guard.

    I think they will eventually develop some sort of chemistry, before Nash and Gasol return, but until then, ouch!

    Anyone who thinks that this is a free throw problem knows little about basketball. This is a defensive problem. Rotations on the defensive end are non-existent. Until they start to rotate down to cover Howard, they will continue to lose.

    • Game Time says:

      Yet it was fun for LAL fans to pick apart Miami in 2011 when they had no real point, center and a PF whom everyone said was too soft. At least that team never went under .500 like the Lakers. Sounds like karma has caught up with you guys.

      • Frank says:

        Firstly, who said I was a Lakers fan???

        Second, where do you get karma from? What did the Lakers organization do to “deserve” this? If you’re going to throw words like karma around at least let us know what the karma is for.

      • JMONEY says:

        Wait for the playoffs to come around before trying to pick a part a Lakers team that everyone knows is one the top favorites to win it all!

      • uoykcuf says:

        I don’t know much about “karma” but if you ask me, I’ll say the girl that kobe rape, all those orlando fans that D. Coward ditch and those laketards claiming they won the chip before the season begins.

      • Game Time says:

        Frank, I was referring to Laker fans and not the organization. Although most of their fans act like they are a part of it. Yeah you can say you’re not one, but we know that’s not true.

      • 121212 says:

        If you wanna throw the word “karma” around. Looks to me like, the Lakers have the least amount of bad karma since the new century started…8 finals appearance, 5 championship. Jokes on you.

      • 121212 says:

        7* final appearances

    • chalice says:

      I think it is fair to judge this team as the main problem, as you pointed out, is defense. Gasol has played except for this week and Nash is not known for his defense. I dont think the Lakers will win the championship this year but they may turn it around after the All-Star Break to get high in the standings (if they start playing hard). I wouldnt count Kobe out just yet. Once the Lakers make the playoffs, it’s a whole new season. I think the biggest problem for them is frustration and it seems like the team has a culture of blaming specific players for loses.

  44. KB24 says:

    2 other weeks and counting plus another of practice…….And Blake ? Gasol ? Wow….it seems to be to a huge target recovering from this situation…a wasted season…….A pity…..a mix of bad fortune and missmanagement…for the coach change….

    • daniel.b says:

      dont like steve blake.. hes on and off and mostly off, in my opinion.. the reason i might be holding on is becuase im waiting for steve nash and to see how things go once he has the reins.. but if things still go how they go right now when hes back.. ill be yelling to say, fire mike d’ antoni!!!