Lakers’ Steve Nash expects to be out until at least next week
Lakers guard Steve Nash will be sidelined until at least next week, still unable to run without pain in his lower left leg, he said Tuesday.
Nash took part in some agility drills Monday and tried to do some jogging but couldn’t complete it symptom-free. He will probably undergo an MRI exam to get a fresh update on the small fracture in his lower left leg.
Nash said he would not play Friday or Sunday, adding he’d be out “about another week” in a brief interview.
The Lakers continue to wait, eager to see what their offense looks like under his guidance. He has missed 13 consecutive games, his longest stretch since 1999.
His return, whenever it happens, would boost one fairly important player, TNT analyst Kenny Smith said.
“The head of that system is pretty important. I think that would benefit Pau [Gasol] for sure,” he said.
Gasol also welcomed Nash’s eventual return. How could he not, given his on-court struggles?
“He’s a great point guard and he’s familiar with the system and the coach, so he will definitely help,” Gasol said. “He won’t solve everything but he will have a positive impact for sure.”
The consensus around the league: Wait on judging the Lakers until Nash returns.
“The team hasn’t been altogether yet, obviously with Nash being out. Still a work in progress,” Indiana Pacers associate head coach Brian Shaw said. “They’ll get it right. They have too much talent to not do well.”
Gasol, by the way, shouldn’t struggle this much in Coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense, Smith said.
“Pitch it ahead and run the lanes,” Smith said. “It makes it surprising to me that he feels uncomfortable in it. With four [All-Star] guys, there’s only one basketball. But the one thing that offense offers is you don’t have to have a lot of minutes to play well because there’s so many more possessions.
“If he played 15 minutes, he could probably get eight to 10 shots. If he played 15 minutes in the triangle, he might only get three.”
Shaw, one of three finalists to take Phil Jackson’s place as the Lakers’ coach last year, looked more fit and trim than his playing days. Almost. Maybe.
“I’ve got about five minutes in me,” he said. “A good five minutes.”
Life’s been good to Shaw since he joined the Pacers’ staff after he and Rick Adelman finished behind Mike Brown in the Lakers’ coaching search after the 2010-11 season.
“It’s good for me to be coaching under a different system,” he said. “When I’ve interviewed since I left the Lakers I still get labeled as a triangle guy. I’ll always be proud of the fact that I played for and coached under Phil Jackson.
“I think the triangle system is great but it seems like the sentiment around the league is that it only works for Phil and only if you have certain kinds of players, although every team runs actions that we run in the triangle. For whatever reason, there’s kind of a negative label attached to it.”
Shaw lives on a lake near Indianapolis and gets to fish often, one of his life-long hobbies. He also lost 14 pounds during the off-season.
“My wife, she’s all into the healthy cooking. The secret is she doesn’t buy potato chips and cookies and all that. No snacks in the house,” he said.
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