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Lakers' Week 2 in review

Professional BasketballLos Angeles LakersSportsBasketballSteve NashXavier HenrySteve Blake

The Lakers finished Week 2 with a single, last-second win on Thursday in Houston, dipping to 3-5 on the year.

Starting the week in 10th place in the Western Conference, the Lakers ended Week 2 in 12th.

The Lakers were bombarded on the road by the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, 123-104. Jordan Hill was able to play, despite being diagnosed with a bone bruise.

Part of the issue for the team was a significant shooting slump for the starting guard tandem of Steve Nash and Steve Blake. Nash continued to play through nerve issues that bothered him "almost every day."

Coach Mike D'Antoni was also struggling to find a proper substitution pattern, using a rare 11-man rotation.

Another link to the Lakers' success was the shooting efficiency of Xavier Henry. The team performed relatively well when Henry contributed as a scorer.

D'Antoni moved Chris Kaman into the starting lineup against the Rockets on Thursday, to match up against the size of Dwight Howard and Omer Asik. It took a last-second Steve Blake three-pointer for the Lakers to steal a 99-98 victory in Houston.

With inconsistent play from the Lakers' starting lineup, the team has gotten significant production from its high-scoring bench.

Playing on the second night of a back-to-back in New Orleans, with Nash sitting out, the Lakers stayed close to the Pelicans, but couldn't keep pace in the fourth quarter -- falling 96-85.

The Lakers enter the season at a disadvantage with All-Star guard Kobe Bryant still recovering from an April 12 Achilles injury.

Complicating matters, the team opened the season with a heavy schedule.

Bryant kept Lakers fans guessing on the timeline of his return, teasing via social media.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak said on Sunday that he doesn't expect Bryant to return over the next two weeks.

The Lakers finished the week on a down note, giving up 47 points in the first quarter of a 113-90 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center.

Nash left the game early with back pain -- to be further evaluated by a specialist.

Even with the Lakers struggling, the team still has the second-most expensive tickets in the NBA, on the secondary market.

Former Lakers assistant coach Steve Clifford, now head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats, was hospitalized on Friday with chest pains. After undergoing a procedure to insert two stents in his heart, he was released and will return to the sidelines shortly.

Finally, the D-Fenders hired former Laker Luke Walton as a player development coach.

ALSO:

Lakers are first team in NBA to have played seven games

Lakers' Steve Nash misses half against Timberwolves with back pain

Lakers' Mitch Kupchak doesn't expect Kobe Bryant back in next two weeks

 

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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