Well at least there’s some good news coming out of Los Angeles, star point guard Steve Nash will make his return tonight against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 39-year old guard has played only six games total this entire season due to nerve issues to his back and legs. The injury itself has bothered him since last year and has had many wondering how much longer he will be able to endure before he retires. The Lakers are expected to limit his minutes tonight and lower them substantially more when the play the Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night in the their back to back game series.
The Lakers have been on a woeful slide since the New Year, compiling a record with only two wins to 14 losses. Injuries have decimated the franchise, but hope the return of three of their guards tonight will turn around the recent slump. Besides Nash; Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake will also be making their return to the line up. The guard situation may need to be addressed in the coming weeks with three guards crowding up the backcourt. With the addition of Nash, the Lakers hope to have their face of the franchise, Kobe Bryant, back on the court sometime in the near future.
Pau Gasol’s injury and trade situation may cast a small shadow on the small amount of momentum the Lakers may pick up with some of their players returning. Gasol is heavily rumored to be moved before the February 20th trade deadline, with the Phoenix Suns heavily vying for the veteran. Unfortunately for the Lakers the star center will not be suited to play tonight after just recently being placed on the injury report.
Steve Nash’s Lakers may a decent shot to take out the Timberwolves in Minnesota. The Timberwolves are also missing their star center Nikola Pekovic, who has been a key piece next to Kevin Love in the Wolves front court. The Wolves and Lakers have split the series this year against one another, both teams picking up a victory a piece on the opposing team’s home court. In order for the Wolves to make a late playoff push they will need the return of Pekovic and a lot more consistent play, especially on defense. Steve Nash may be able to exploit the Wolves on defense by using his superior passing and knack of finding open shooters to hit uncontested baskets. The return of Nash may be far more important to the production of the younger players, as the veteran point guard knows how to distribute the ball as well as any other point guard when healthy, averaging over eight assists a game his whole career.
This season for the Lakers seems to be gleam and the front office may already be planning to make moves for next year. Rumors are floating around about who they may go after in the off season to pair with Kobe Bryant in years to come. Many stars may become available, even the Timberwolves own, Kevin Love, has been rumored to option out of his contract next year and wind up in Los Angeles. The season may be gone but at least the return of Steve Nash can cast somewhat of a bright light for the Los Angeles Lakers for the rest of the year, or at least until Kobe Bryant makes his return to the court.
by Justin Huffman