Steve Nash scored 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting with six assists in his best performance of the season to date on Sunday night in a 105-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks. That brings up the question: What type of player will he be for the Lakers this season?
Nash in his time with the Los Angeles Lakers’ organization has dealt with a variety of injuries; and this season he has already had his fair share of minor injuries that include a sore left ankle and a stiff neck. His inability to remain healthy has pushed head coach Mike D’Antoni to limit his playing time even more and sit him out of the second game of back-to-backs.
With that said, as the Lakers continue to watch his playing time and health closely, what can Lakers fans make of their team’s 39-year-old point guard?
Should they expect him to struggle to be consistently effective on the floor in each game as his body continues to cause him problems or should they expect to see more performances like Sunday night where he can help be a factor in the team’s wins?
The answer to this question may be a mix of both, but more the first premise as Nash’s body is not allowing him to remain effective on floor for long stretches in games. He may from time to time have games like Sunday’s night,where he can be influential to the outcome of the game, but what it ultimately comes down to is that he is in his 19th year in the league at the age of 39.
This means that his body will continue to break down and he will have to manage through the many minor injuries that will flare up during the season. At his age, what is labeled as a minor injury will in fact be a lingering one because he body will take a longer time to recuperate from whatever ailment he is experiencing. A perfect example of this is the sore left ankle that he suffered early in the preseason that is still dealing with at this point in the regular season.
So although he may be in tip-top shape, his body is not what it once was when he played for the Phoenix Suns because it has taken the beating of 19 years in the NBA.
The Lakers are hoping tonight’s performance will be more of what to expect from Nash, as they will continue to monitor his minutes in order to preserve his health for longer durations throughout the season.
With that said, Lakers fans must hope for Nash to continue to stay healthy and battle through any minor injury he suffers throughout this season. He plays an important part to the team’s success this season as the organization is leaning on players like Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant in addition to himself.
Health will not only be a key sticking point for Nash, but the entire Lakers’ team. They learned the hard way last season how quickly injuries can take a toll on a team.
Photo Credit: Lakers.com