Everything around Steve Nash made him feel better.
He smiled as he detailed the Lakers’ closeness that led to a 116-103 season-opening win Tuesday over the Clippers in a designated home game at Staples Center. Nash appeared refreshed after the bench’s 76 points enabled him to play for only 21 minutes. Even though he warned of tough times ahead in a long 82-game season, Nash chalked up the experience thus far as “rewarding” and “a lot of fun.”
But then Nash provided a medical update that initially seemed positive, but suggested otherwise. Could the added rest ensure he plays Wednesday in the Lakers’ second game of a back-to-back against the Golden State Warriors?
“I would imagine I can play tomorrow,” Nash said. “But we’ll see how I feel in the morning. We’ll see how it goes. A couple of strange things happened out there for me tonight, but I think I’ll be okay.”
What were those strange things?
“I’ll just leave it that,” he said. “I just had some weird knocks and stuff that happened.”
Nash posted a modest three points on one of three shooting and five assists. Uncharacteristically, he was called on one possession for a double dribble. In another incident, the 39-year-old guard showed his age when he slowly and painfully pursued a loose ball. But his passes still seemed well timed, and Jordan Farmar’s 16 points on six of 10 shooting and six assists off the bench in 27 minutes offset any of Nash’s limitations.
Hence, perhaps that’s why Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni still sounded non-commital on if Nash will play against Golden State.
“We’ll have a whole plane flight to figure that one out,” D’Antoni said. He then joked, “Jordan Farmar needs to sit out the game. He played too many minutes.”
Nash had already nursed several injuries during exhibition play, including a sore left ankle and neck discomfort. He’s also only a season removed when he missed a combined 32 games because of a fractured left leg and persisting back and hamstring issues.
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