After finishing with just one win in their three-game road trip, it wasn’t surprising that the Lakers did not seem satisfied with their away record at practice today. A few players attributed their poor performance on the road to a lack of effort and mental focus but having their star point guard, Steve Nash, out for the past 12 games is clearly contributing to the problem. Plus, with his back up Steve Blake listed as day to day, the Lakers have had to rely on their third and fourth string combined with an added responsibility on Kobe Bryant to control the ball.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, both Steve Nash and Steve Blake are ruled out for tomorrow night’s game. Per Lakers spokesman John Black, the team cancelled Nash’s MRI today. The cancellation of the MRI was neither a positive or negative sign of Nash’s progress. Instead, Nash will be participating in agility drills and jogging, which is a definite step up from his previous training. Prior, Nash revealed to ESPN that he hadn’t been able to jog since his initial injury.
At practice today, Kobe Bryant reiterated how his own stats and personal performance will only improve with Nash on the floor.
“Better. Cause I have to do less with the ball. I have more catch and shoot opportunities, more catch and go opportunities….Really be able to get to the basket, attack the rim and score.”
Of course, D’Antoni has the same idea, and he emphasized how the offense will change once Nash returns.
“It’s going to be different when Steve comes in there, it’s the nature of the game. he’s the best at it. In the meantime, Darius and Chris are doing a good job.”
For a third and fourth string, Darius Morris and Chris Duhon have definitely been putting in their work. In their last win against the Dallas Mavericks, Morris played almost 25 minutes, and Chris Duhon was close to 17. Plus, Morris has been consistently scoring in the past several games.
Expect the Lakers to be relying on the Darius Morris and Chris Duhon duo as the Lakers take on the Indiana Pacers in a tough match up on Tuesday night.
Video: The latest on Steve Nash and Steve Blake, plus what Kobe and D’Antoni had to say at practice today
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