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Lakers

Jeremy Lin could start at point guard for Lakers over Steve Nash

Jeremy Lin could be in line for the Lakers' starting point guard job.
(Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images)

Steve Nash has had an incredible career, but the two-time most valuable player might have to adapt to a new role in what is probably his final NBA season: coming off the bench as a backup.

Lakers Coach Byron Scott indicated that Jeremy Lin might become the starting point guard because of Nash’s recurring back problems, a switch that makes sense due to Nash’s on-again, off-again availability.

Nash played well in the Lakers’ exhibition opener but sat out their second game and took himself out of their third because he didn’t feel right.

Nash, who turns 41 in February, played only 15 games last season and is in the last year of a contract paying him $9.7 million this season. He averaged 6.8 points and 5.7 assists in the games he played.

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Scott said he hadn’t made up his mind on a permanent switch, but he appeared to be leaning toward Lin, 26.

“I have no doubt in my mind that if I went to Steve and said tomorrow, ‘You know what, I’m going to start Jeremy and the games that you’re available, we’re going to bring you off the bench,’ he’s such a professional that I don’t think it would be a problem whatsoever,” Scott said.

Lin might not be able to play in Thursday’s exhibition against Utah because of a sprained ankle, but he should be ready to go against Phoenix on Sunday in the fifth of the Lakers’ eight preseason games.

Nash was not available for comment Tuesday after the Lakers practiced.

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