Steve Nash’s minutes have been heavily monitored through the first week of the season and coach Mike D’Antoni has relied heavily on Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar to carry the load for the majority of minutes so far. After playing only 21 minutes in the season opener, Nash played 23 minutes tonight against the San Antonio Spurs and did not see the floor in the fourth quarter. While speaking to the media, D’Antoni revealed why he left his starting point guard on the bench down the stretch according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters via Twitter:
D’Antoni says the reason he didn’t put Nash back in was more because he was worried he kept Nash out too long, so he’d be stiff. — Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) November 2, 2013
Nash has been fighting through injuries the entire preseason and even sat out the team’s second game against the Golden State Warriors in what may be a recurring theme throughout the season as the team wants to keep Nash healthy. Players do get stiff if they sit for too long, and it is especially possible for older players. Despite that being the case, Nash is one of the team’s best playmakers in the absence of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers need him on the floor as their offense has struggled mightily to consistently create points. The starters have been outscored every game by the bench and Nash’s inability to be effective has a lot to do with that issue. At some point, D’Antoni is going to have to figure out the right mix of keeping Nash healthy without sacrificing the team’s performance on the court.
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