With just five games remaining in the season, Mike D’Antoni laughed at the fact he finally now has Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar back in the lineup.
“You either have them all or none,” D’Antoni said Tuesday before the Lakers played the Houston Rockets. “We’d like to get a middle ground there.”
Even though the Lakers are long out of the playoff race, sitting in second-to-last place in the Western Conference, D’Antoni said the team could still benefit from Nash and Farmar being on the court.
“I’m happy for Jordan to come back, that’s good for him,” D’Antoni said. “I’m happy that Nash can finish the year out, hopefully, with some games. It also gives better ball movement for the team so that somebody like Nick [Young] or Wesley [Johnson] or Robert Sacre, people who need to develop, it’s a lot easier, and Jodie [Meeks], it’s a lot easier when the ball is going to the right spots.”
D’Antoni also acknowledged he’s putting Nash on the court because he’d like to see him move up on the NBA’s all-time assist list, where Nash is only five assists short of taking over third place.
“He’s healthy enough, he can play some minutes if he wants to play, so why not,” D’Antoni said.
Nash has 10,330 assists, Mark Jackson has 10,334. John Stockton is the NBA’s career assists leader (15,806), followed by Jason Kidd (12,091).
That doesn’t quite mean D’Antoni has a plan for how he wants to use the 40-year-old guard, who has been struggling with his back.
“I don’t even have a plan in the second quarter, we just talk and we go with it,” D’Antoni said. “Steve has put in so many hours and he wants to play, as long as he wants to play and there’s that possibility, why not.”