Steve Nash returns to the lineup, Lakers still lose
Los Angeles Lakers fans might be really wondering if there exist an elixir with magic effects that could make the team win games this season. Because as of now, there doesn’t seem to be another way for the team to break out of its slump. Even the return of Steve Nash in the lineup wasn’t enough for the Lakers to win in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Lakers did have Steve Nash and Steve Blake back, after both point guards missed significant time this season. Of course, the team still plays without its leader, Kobe Bryant. Pau Gasol was also out due to a strained right groin and the Lakers couldn’t use the boost Nash gave to the team to roll past the Wolves.
One can blame the bad luck for the Lakers’ slump over this and the previous season. Lots of injuries in core members of the team have not allowed it to unfold its game, at least not at its full scale. But on the other hand, some of those injuries should have been expected and as a result, this decline in the Lakers’ production could have been predicted.
Steve Nash played 25 minutes in yesterday’s game and he finished with nine assists, seven points and two turnovers. He connected on three out of his six shots from the field, including one three-pointer. Nonetheless, in a few days, he turns 40, so how longer do the Lakers expect him to play? And how many quality minutes will he be able to deliver?
On the other hand, the Lakers pushed hard last season to get the playoff ticket, which they finally got. Nonetheless, they did lose Kobe Bryant, who was over-used by Mike D’Antoni. And they still miss him, as he suffered another injury once he got back. I’m not saying that this injury has something to do with his Achilles one from last season. But what I am saying is that there was a general sense of urgency around Kobe’s comeback this season. He was the only one who could save the season for the Lakers and maybe, he still is.
Steve Nash won’t make that much of a difference by himself, even if he manages to stay healthy till April, something I highly doubt. Pau Gasol might be the best player of the team at the moment but the Lakers know they can’t continue with him onboard. Lots of rumors state that the Phoenix Suns are strongly interested in acquiring the Spaniard center.
The certain thing for the Lakers is that they can’t continue that way. Or even if they do, they will have to do it in style. For example they could rule out Kobe Bryant for the remainder of the season, which is already lost for the Lakers, trade Gasol for some draft picks, give youngsters like Kendall Marshall a chance to emerge and hope for a better future. I can’t see another way out of the hole for LA.