The Los Angeles Lakers can’t have more than two point guards healthy at the same time, so while it was somewhat exciting to watch Steve Nash make his return to the court, it brought no change to their losing streak as the Minnesota Timberwolves, lead by a red hot Kevin Love, had no problem being the next team to deliver more woes to the struggling team.
For the Timberwolves it wasn’t just Love putting on a big night with 31 points and 17 rebounds; after a rough fall on his back and head, many were concerned that they’re going to be without their best player for some time. However, Love seemed OK despite the rough fall, and the team that had to worry about injuries in the end were the Lakers, losing Jodie Meeks only a few minutes into the return of Nash and Blake.
Meeks isn’t their only injury problem – Jordan Hill didn’t last too long in the game with a headache and neck pains, while Pau Gasol is also out of the picture for the moment with an injury that amid all the trade talk might mean he has already played his last game for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nash made his return with 7 points and 5 assists, and Blake had 6 assists and 0 points in his comeback. Their return meant it was Kendall Marshall hitting the bench despite his impressive numbers since coming into the lineup, and it was clear that the change didn’t do him a world of good, finishing with only 5 points and 3 assists in 21 minutes.
I feel a bit selfish in that we lost but it felt great just to play in the NBA again. Obviously the game didn’t go as we hoped, but for me personally that’s pretty cool to be back out there.
Nash and Blake playing was pretty much the only good bit of news for the Lakers from the game, losing for the 7th consecutive time, giving up more than 100 points in all of their games since the year turned into 2014. Kevin Love didn’t have Nikola Pekovic to help him down low, but that just meant he was even more aggressive than usual down low, finishing with another impressive double double, averaging 32.6 points and 14.8 rebounds over the last five games.
Kevin Martin scored 32 points, making it the fifth time this season two Timberwolves players have scored 30 points or more in the same game; Kevin Love has been a part of that in all five games, with Martin or Pekovic joining him.
With Martin and Love doing so well the Timberwolves didn’t need anything but assists from Ricky Rubio, providing 13 of them in a win against a team he has something against: His severe injury two years ago came against the Lakers, and Rubio probably still remembers being fouled by Kobe Bryant yet not getting the call for it last season as it seemed officials were doing everything in their power to help the Lakers make the playoffs.
This season nothing is going to help the bad and injury-plagued Lakers get anywhere near the postseason, as they seem like the likeliest team to finish with the worst record in the Western conference.