In an interview with the LA Daily News’ Mark Medina, Lakers Trainer Gary Vitti discussed how rough last season was for him. The Lakers roster accumulated a combined 184 missed games last season, which was one of the biggest reasons this team underachieved.
Steve Nash had a strange season, to say the least. In the second game of the season, Nash fractured his leg after a collision with rookie of the year Damien Lillard. Nash would also end the season on the sidelines with hamstring issues, but should go into this season fully healthy. Despite his improved health, Vitti thinks that Nash should play fewer minutes this season.
“He might be a guy that would be better off reducing his minutes,” Vitti said of Nash, who played an average of 32.5 minutes per game last season. “Because he wasn’t himself last year, let’s see what he’s like in camp. We’re not going to beat the guy up.”
Vitti wouldn’t reveal the ideal playing time for Nash, but floated the idea about D’Antoni resting him for certain games. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has adopted a similar strategy with aging stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.
Nash is 39-years-old and will turn 40 just before the All-Star break, so giving him as much rest as possible during the season will be key to having him around for the playoffs. This year, the Lakers are better equipped to give him the rest he needs as they’ve brought in Jordan Farmar to carry some of the point guard load, and Steve Blake will be entering the season healthy as well.
Guys like Nick Young and Wes Johnson will also be helpful as they can play both wing positions, letting Farmar concentrate mainly on point guarding duties and not needing to slide him to the two spot to back up Kobe Bryant.
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