The season hasn’t even begun and the Los Angeles Lakers are once again full to the brim with injuries. Jeremy Lin is part of that epidemic, but nothing too serious, unlike Steve Nash, the supposed starting point guard, who has been held back with different infliction since he joined the team.
Nash played in only 15 games last season, which is why it’s been weird to hear from Scott that such an injury liability, someone who has played only 65 games over the last two seasons and hasn’t looked too great in them either will be the starting player at the point for the team. Nash insists that the current injury isn’t as serious as the back problems that kept him from playing last season, almost forcing him to retire, but he’s not playing and not even practicing at the moment.
Nash last played for the Lakers on October 12 against the Golden State Warriors. He left the game in the middle, asking to be taken out because something wasn’t right with his back. The team said he hurt his back carrying bags. Something just seems a bit peculiar and more than worrying, not to mention predictable, for a player who probably should have retired, but remained because no one can turn down making more than $9 million a season.
Lin will probably get a lot of minutes in the starting lineup and in general at the point guard position. The Lakers don’t have anyone else, even if they should treat him as the better player among the two. Ronnie Price is the other player fighting for minutes, and he’ll get more than he should due to the Nash injury situation. Lin was supposed to be the guy leading the second unit from the point, along Julius Randle, Nick Young and Xavier Henry, but that will probably be changed more than once.
Henry himself hasn’t been playing in a very long time. He had a promising start last season but a knee injury and surgery he did in April kept him out for most of the season. He hasn’t been recovering well and has been travelling around, looking for other treatments and second opinions, hoping that he’ll be ready in time for the season to begin on October 28. He averaged 10 points per game in 43 outings last season.
The Lakers weren’t built to do too well next season, but they’ve been looking worse and worse with every preseason game. New players go down, Byron Scott doesn’t want his team shooting 3’s. Things aren’t looking good, especially with Kobe Bryant soon to become the usual hero-ball player he is if things don’t get better. Some people thought last year was rock bottom for the Lakers, but if they keep counting on Steve Nash to be a big part of this team, maybe we’ve yet to see how low this team can sink to.
Image via Zimbio