The Los Angeles Lakers new foursome of Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash hasn’t gotten much time together in the 2012-2013 NBA season.
In L.A.’s second game, Nash went down with an injury, and has missed the team’s last three contests. A week after the point guard suffered a fracture in his leg against the Trail Blazers, he still isn’t close to making a return.
Nash’s initial diagnosis stated that he would miss at least seven days. After doing some shooting and dribbling in practice, the veteran said he’s not even close to full strength.
"I'm nowhere near ready to do multidirectional or unpredictable movement," said Nash. "But predictable movements or stationary stuff, I can do OK at a moderate pace."
In his short time on the court with the Lakers, Nash didn’t look like the player that led the Phoenix Suns to three Western Conference Finals appearances. He scored just nine points and dished out eight assists in both games, struggling to find a rhythm in Mike Brown’s Princeton offense.
Despite Nash’s early struggles, Los Angeles could really use him back in the lineup. Steve Blake has taken over for Nash at point guard, and has arguably played even worse than Nash did, before his injury.
In his three starts, Blake is averaging 6.7 points on just 30 percent shooting. His three assists per game haven’t done much to get his teammates involved on offense. In the Lakers' loss to Utah on Wednesday, L.A. scored a season-low 86 points.
The Lakers other options at point guard haven’t given them much, either. Darius Morris has shown some positive signs, be he has very little experience. In 12 minutes against the Jazz, he missed five of his six shots and committed two turnovers. Veteran Chris Duhon hasn’t scored in just eight total minutes. He hasn’t been an effective NBA player for a few years.
The longer Nash is out, the more time it will take the Lakers to work out their early season problems. With a 1-4 record, the Lakers haven't looked like the championship contender that many experts expected.
L.A. has struggled on both sides of the ball. They’ve allowed 98.8 points per game. The Lakers are in the middle of the pack offensively, despite having a few of the biggest scoring threats at their respective positions.
Nash is scheduled to be reevaluated this weekend.