Limping Nash Tells Lakers’ Youngsters To ‘Let It Rip’

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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. –
 With the number of walking wounded around here it was half surprising that the Lakers’ training facility hadn’t been painted green with a giant red cross on the entry doors.

Or that Corporal Klinger wasn’t running Thursday’s light practice for the few Lakers left standing.

Of course Klinger, the old M*A*S*H* character, might still have more name recognition in this town than the two players that very well could make up L.A.’s starting backcourt Friday night in virtual must-win Game 3 against the San Antonio Spurs at Staples Center.

Get ready for Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock.

“Well, yeah,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said, accompanied by a hearty chuckle, when asked if those two 2011 second-round picks will likely be thrust into heavy minutes. “And [Chris] Duhon. Go look at the rest we’ve got there.”

It ain’t much. The Lakers received  more depressing news on Thursday that will make the task of clawing out of a 2-0 hole excruciatingly difficult. Guard Steve Blake, who has played so well since Kobe Bryant went down with an Achilles tear two games before the end of the regular season, got the results of his ultrasound back and he’s out indefinitely with a moderate strain of his right hamstring.

Point guard Steve Nash had two epidural injections in his back Thursday and his chances of playing Friday night have come to this: “I have fingers crossed.”

And not to be forgotten is shooting guard Jodie Meeks. The Lakers’ best long-distance scoring threat is likely out, too, with a sprained ankle. D’Antoni, in fact, considers Meeks to be more doubtful than Nash, who said Thursday that he’s still in quite a bit of discomfort from both tweaking his hip-hamstring injury in the final seconds of the first half of Game 2 as well as “from getting a bunch of darts stuck in me” on Thursday.

He characterized his state of concern for not being ready to play Friday as “very concerned.”

“It’s really frustrating, very, very frustrating, especially because I was at the point where I was actually excited with the way I felt to start the last two games,” Nash said. “Even though I couldn’t sprint completely and I wasn’t moving as well as I’d like, I could still be effective and find a way to help the team and impact the game. And obviously, to tweak it before the half and for it to deteriorate set me back. So it’s another set of highs and lows.”

Metta World Peace, having coming back from knee surgery in record time, amazingly, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol – no strangers to pain this season — are the healthiest key cogs that the Lakers have got.

D’Antoni said his big men will have to get the job done in the post, but that means that Goudelock, named the D-League’s MVP on Thursday, and Morris, who at least started 17 games filling in for the two injured Steves early in the season, will have to get them ball.

Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs’ sensational guards that are just now feeling healthy themselves, and the rest of the Spurs will try to make sure they can’t and put a stranglehold on the series.

After Game 2, D’Antoni sought refuge in that old NBA playoff adage that a series doesn’t really begin until the road team wins. Well, if the Spurs win Game 3, it will all but end this series.

Nash, ever the optimist and always equipped with an encouraging word, had such a message for Goudelock and Morris, who’d be wise to listen to the limping two-time MVP as they approach the toughest spot of their young careers.

“I don’t think those guys should approach it as a tough spot,” Nash said. “I think they should approach it like they’ve got nothing to lose and they should go out there and let it rip. If they have a tough night, what would you expect in their first NBA start out of nowhere? So they should play free and loose and use their youth and energy and the skills that they possess to go out and have fun with it and take a free cut.”

59 Comments

  1. ella says:

    y’all lakers fans make me laugh!… 2-3 yrs ago you were unanimously belittling the spurs for being an “old” team… that they were done for, and you were all “predicting” that we won’t even make the playoffs…

    yet! here we are! stronger than ever… and, even though the core of the team is the same: duncan, ginobili, parker, bonner, they are in great shape! duncan, just turned 37, yesterday, and he plays like he did when he was 27!… 

    you blame all the wrong people for your situation. brown and d’antoni are good coaches… it’s not their fault the players cannot get along with each other. kobe fights w/ gasol; gasol fights w/ howard, howard fights w/ kobe… heck! howard fights w/ howard!!!… you see the pattern, here?! there is no respect! players don’t respect each other, they don’t respect their coaches… how can this team work when there is no cohesion?!… 

    when howard joined the team, he complained that he did not play enough minutes, that he did not get to touch the ball much during the game, kept voicing his contempt for d’antoni’s strategy!… 

    now, he is alone, kobe is injured… he has the opportunity to show the whole world what he is really made of, and… well,  it’s not nice!… it’s obvious, he cannot carry this team. period! 

    y’all out there in la la land: it’s time to make a gracefull exit! patch-up your hurt, rest and, most importantly, learn to listen… this is not your year! 

    mike d’antoni is a good coach; give him a chance! listen to him and respect him! 

    and nash, i like u, and i’m sure there’s still some spunk left in you… i’m not so sure u picked right team, though… you should have done better… 

    oh, i almost forgot! coach, from one milanese to another: 

    … perchè se anche il cielo fuori è scuro
    oggi splende un sole ARGENTO & NERO !…

  2. Derrick says:

    Please somehow get leBron james after the season ends sunday

  3. Da_Beaver says:

    Send the Lakers to Seattle. Sacremento keeps the Kings and LA can then focus on their better team (Clippers)

    Showtime is over. Lob city is the future.

    • Juan dela Cruz says:

      You are funny!!! Are you on drugs or something???

    • ECMG119 says:

      It should actually be the Kings who should go to Seattle, Lakers sty here in L.A. And Clippers…..perhaps Anaheim? Oh heck, take them back to San Diego where they used to be at a point in time. Lob City needs to leave L.A. they’re always gonna e in the Laker’s shadow no matter if they’re the better team and probably will be for the foreseeable future. Clippers need a new location to establish their true identity, to maybe establish their own dynasty. I’m only saying Anahiem cause they have the mighty ducks in hockey, used to have the Angels in baseball, why not have the “Anaheim Clippers”? Sounds a bit catchy no?

  4. andre simmons says:

    its sad to see kobe leave but i hope i an knoow hes coming back bettter than ever

  5. andre simmons says:

    steve nash is a better pg gaurd than chris paul

    • Realist says:

      In this era, not even close. Chris Paul worked him on every clippers matchup. To the extent that Kobe had to switch to defend Cp3. I think Nash is old and should retire. With the young point guards in the game right now, I wonder how he Is gonna keep up.

  6. andre says:

    i hope steve nash can keep up the good work

  7. LALKB24 says:

    More than Nash its Blake who we will miss tonight as he was playing amazing since Kobe left. I think Morris can play good D on Parker and hopefully Mike D Antoni plays Glock more instead of Duhon. Duhon is good and a veteran however does not create his own shots. On the other hand Glock has offense skills to create his own shots and make 3 pointers. I really want to see Glock play 25-30 mins today.

  8. james says:

    he should retire if he stays with the lakers because a tonne-load of minutes is not gonna help an old man

  9. nash fan says:

    Say what you want about Nash, but that’s the best advice anyone could have given to the youngsters.

  10. Dew says:

    Nash retire
    + D’Antoni out of LA
    + Trade Peace
    + Upgrade Bench
    _________________
    Lakers Win

  11. ???? says:

    Steve Nash is good, but defense wins championships and in his late 30’s he cannot guard any athletic guards, its been the lakers problem even 2 yrs ago with D fish. They need a strong young guard coming off the bench to rotate with Kobe and Nash so they both aren’t drained and or get injured. neither kobe or nash are getting any younger and for kobe to play the minutes he played this year is beyond human.
    tldr: Nash is old and no defense + kobe plays too many regular season minutes= young athletic guard off the bench.

    • iso says:

      u need rondo

    • SRFS says:

      Nash never had a strong suit for defense his entire career what are you talking about? Look at the season Nash had last season with the Suns before he came to the Lakers. They pick up Dwight and the best offensive PF in the game even right now in Pau and Kobe and the Lakers need almost another all-star young guard? Look at the Pacers or Denver… they make it work even without stars why do the Lakers require so much to do well? Who cares about this team honestly, its time for them to let other more deserving teams take the spotlight, they’ve had nothing but spotlight the last decade…

    • LALKB24 says:

      Well, they tried Ramon Sessions who was young and he was a disaster in Post Season.

  12. notalakersfan says:

    nash is amazing and so is everybody on the lakers go lakers i love the lakers!

  13. kobe24 says:

    nice words from nash to morris and goudelock and to lift up there confidence

  14. danieldunlop says:

    Nash needed to be the point guard for the Lakers to even have a chance. Kobe brought the ball up the court a lot this season and I think this is part of the problem Nash (when healthy) never got a rhythm going. The biggest problem was the Lakers did not go after any truly great role players to fill the gaps; and could not even commit to a coach. It was as though the Lakers did not want to make the playoffs this years.

  15. wonder23 says:

    Kobe is out and no the go to guy is gone for a long period
    Steve is still a good player (same as jason kid) but he needs people to run the floor
    Miami the fisrt year also choked with lebron but they came stronger the next year and won a title
    Now the lakers must start to do the same with Steve , Howard and co

    People must work to run together and everyone must learn to score
    How

    exercise a lot this summer ….

  16. DATex says:

    Pretty sure D’Antoni doesn’t even introduce himself to the guys on the bench until somebody gets hurt. Contrast that with how Gregg Popovich develops his bench ALL the time. It pays to play more than a 7 or 8 man rotation, but D’Antoni will never learn or never admit it.

  17. r says:

    d’antoni ran the lakers health into the ground. fire him and brink back phil jackson.

  18. No Cry says:

    i think mike brown and d’antoni both doesn’t fit in to the lakers and both can’t handle Kobe who has a too big ego. d’antoni made the misstake to play his stars 40 minutes a game during the season. Now he pays for that as they are all injured. dispite of that i expect them to fail in the play offs. And beacuase of the big minutes his bench had not enough playtime to be consistent. I think those youngsters are superb but did not get the playtime they deserved. D’antoni now have to pay the price for it. Although i like to see the lakers to succeed in the play offs.

  19. SDF05 says:

    As a Laker Fan, i have to say that the Lakers are done for the playoffs. They came so far even with the injuries to almost all the players in the Lakers Organisation. They have to learn the mistakes they did this year and come back strong and healthy net season. What a disappointment for not only the real Laker Fans, but the NBA Fans all over the world.

    P.S: D’antoni, if you are reading this, at least try NOT to Laugh at every single thing. It just gets worse. And use the suparstars effectiely too. They are a gift, i guess a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

  20. Miami says:

    Nash is good player if you think he needs retiriment you are wrong Kidd is the only who need to retire

  21. Gillsy says:

    Well it is easy to say that some bad calls were made by the Lakers. But having Howard and Gasol out for an extended period of time hasn’t helped the team jell. They are just starting to make a combination now that everyone thought would have happened six months ago after its all to late. Kobe was over played making him play so many minutes towards the end of the season, was ridiculous. Where was he going to gas from going into the finals. Nash is an interesting one, I respect him as a player and can understand how the Lakers thought the pick and roll opportunities with the two big guys could help take pressure of Kobe. But for the money they coughed up they would have been better going for someone like Jrue Holiday who is up and coming(and can play a bit of D) and could have helped in the transition after Kobe and Peace.

  22. Petko says:

    4:0 4:0 4:0 4:0 4:0

  23. BlackDove- says:

    SWEEP SWEEP SWEEP

    • June says:

      As much as I’m looking at it this way as well, I can’t help but it’s gonna be interesting come Spurs play the Lakers in the road… If the Spurs still carry that much momentum and bring their “A” game in LA, LA is good for a sweep…

    • black mambo says:

      bye kobe~
      bye antoni~
      bye nash~
      bye howard~
      bye Lakers~~~

  24. BANDWAGGON LAKER FANS says:

    FUNNY LAKER FANS!

    BLAME ALL PEOPLE!

    FIRST COACH – MIKE BROWN – FIRED
    FREE THROW OF DWIGHT
    GASOL SOFT
    D’ ANTONI
    KOBE INJURED
    AND NOW YOU ARE BLAMING NASH!

    ALL OF YOU LAKER FANS SHOULD BE SHAME ON YOUR SELF!
    YOU ALWAYS POINTING FINGERS TO THE LAKERS ORGANIZATION.

    FUNNY THING ITS SO EASY FOR YOU FANS TO BLAME PEOPLE WHEN THE ACTUAL LAKER PLAYER DIDNT BLAME ANY PEOPLE IN THE ORGANIZATION.

    SHAME ON YOU LAKER FANS!

    • nashty says:

      yeah right! these LA bLAMERS just can’t move on!

      • HEAT says:

        if you listen to the Lakers fans earlier than u wouldnt get all the blame. Lakers fans were against Dwight coming to LA, they wanted Dwight and they knew about his poor FTs so they were never complaining aobut it, check your fact. Lakers fans were chanting for PHIL, and some how Mike D antoni popped up out of his hospital bed and got hired. Gasol is soft. its a fact. But Lakers fans didnt say hes not good. He’s great at other areas. Just soft. Nobody blame Kobe injury. It’s both Mike D’s fault for allowing him to play too many minutes. But it’s also Kobe’s fault bc Mike D trusts that he been in the league for so long so he knows what he’s doing and he wants to play.

    • June says:

      You have my vote as post of the night brother… I agree the bandwagon Laker fans have outdone themselves night after night in this series…

    • Pumpkins says:

      Amen

    • andre says:

      laker got this

  25. BlackDove- says:

    i cant beleive LA hire D’Antonie in the first place lol.
    Poor nash thought hed win a Championship in LA lol
    GO NY GO NY GO

  26. Ryuga says:

    3…2…1… LET IT RIP!

    Nash has obviously been watching some Beyblade.

    L-DRAGO FTW

  27. Patty says:

    It is time for Nash & Antoni to retire. Nash is 39 years old and cannot play anymore.

    Nash looks old and tired.

    The Lakers need to fired Antoni.

  28. Ryuga says:

    Beyblade Beyblade Let it rip
    Let’s fight an epic battle
    Face off and spin the metal
    No time for doubt now
    No place for backing down
    Beyblade Beyblade Let it rip
    Beyblade Beyblade Let it rip
    Spin out the play now
    Bring on the power
    Right to the top Yeah
    We’re never giving up
    Here comes
    Here comes
    Metal Fury
    Let’s go Beyblade Let it rip
    Metal Fury Let it rip
    Beyblade Beyblade Let it rip
    This is it
    Get a grip
    Let it rip

    L-DRAGO FTW!

  29. Bespoken says:

    No wonder the lakers stinks!

  30. W/E says:

    Nash should retire, he is done cant play for the NBA anymore.

    • John says:

      Even at 50%, he is one of the best point guards in the league. He still has at least 2 years left in him I’d say

    • King of Hell says:

      I agree.. He is the biggest mistake the Lakers committed this season.

      • June says:

        Wow! All the hate on the man the Lakerfans had gone drooling over the pre-season when the Lakers acquired him is so…. how should I say it, surreal…

        Not the biggest Nash fan but it’s sad when people turn their backs on someone they carried around as a trophy before the season started. This season is full of hopes and then backs turned after their team starts losing… I know how that felt though… Had high hopes for Mavs but down the road started saying “This player needs to go and this needs to have more minutes…”.

        I guess that’s just how NBA fans works around these days…

      • HEAT says:

        I can’t believe they waste so much money on Nash when they couldve snatch Jamal Crawford from the Clippers, get extra money and keep Matt Barn (for only 850K? r u kidding?) and still have extra money to get 3pt shooters! Barn would help Dwight big time, like in Orlando. Nash is not only losing court vision, he’s losing athletic ability and confident at the same time and fast! when u dont have athletic ability, for an athlete, it’s over. U can’t do what u want to do on the court. Doesnt matter if you still have the court vision. u cant do shhhh!

      • zack says:

        jamal crawford playin next to kobe??? never gunna work…nash is old and slow but still commands the offense…lakers dont need a big scoring point guard they need a floor general…nash fits that bill..the lakers have had a circus season but these playoffs have sparked a connection between howard and gasol that wasnt there in the regular seson…we will be a top 5 team next year if we can shake this injury bug

      • HEAT says:

        Top 5 is not good enough. by the time the Lakers are top 2 Dwight will be over 30. Nash is getting paid too much and the Lakers need cap room. Trade him please. get someone else like Ty Lawson, Crawford, or somebody similar to Blake. Get more players like Matt Barn to help Metta and Dwight out with the defense. Get rid of Duhon and bring Fisher back, unless Nash is willing to take a pay cut and play back up point guard.

    • gamee12 says:

      Well he just made a wrong decision, he tought that Lakers have chance to win title, EVERYONE THOUGHT but life is bi&^% he should stay for 1 more year in lakers and then go to Toronto if nothing happens

    • Jack says:

      You can say the same about Kobe right now.

      Both guys are having some bad luck with injuries. Cut them some slack.