Monday, December 24, 2012

Laker Fans Delusional Again--Nuts Over Nash

Wake up Laker fans, wake up.

You've had a day or so to wallow in your delusions since your guys whipped a good Warrior team in OT, 118-115, on Saturday night. It was point guard Steve Nash's first game back after missing about seven weeks with a slight shin fracture. No question he was the difference. Without him running the offense, the Warriors, who had a fat lead going into the fourth quarter, win easily. Though he scored only 12 points while handing out nine assists, Nash clearly put the zip back into coach Mike D'Antoni's offense, running it like it should be run, like he did when he was playing for D'Antoni years ago in Phoenix. To put it simply, no Nash, no Laker victory.

But now, Laker fans, it's reality time. There's one disturbing figure in Nash's stat line. He played 42 minutes. That means he was resting only about ten minutes. Remember, this is a player, coming back from a bone fracture, who's almost 40. Instead of easing Nash back into the lineup, D'Antoni powered him in, apparently without restrictions, essentially full throttle. D'Antoni probably wanted him on the court every minute, but common sense prevailed.

But, at 40-plus minutes a game, how long do you think Nash is going to last before that leg or one of his other aging body parts breaks down? It's not humanly possible for Nash to do what he needs to do for the Lakers to win consistently. So look for Nash to be in and out of the lineup for the rest of the season, nursing this injury or that injury, acting like the old guy he really is..

The point guard position is the hole in the Lakers lineup. The healthy backups, Darius Morris and Chris Duhon, are inadequate. The No.1 backup, Steve Blake, has been out for weeks with an abdominal ailment and won't be back for a while. But when he's healthy, he's slow and very ordinary. Without Nash, the Lakers are slow and ordinary. That's the team we're likely to see more of this season.

The player most happy to see Nash back is Kobe Bryant. Without having to worry about sharing some of the point guard duties, Kobe was able to concentrate on what he likes to do best--shoot and shoot and shoot. With Nash feeding him, he was back in full, shameless ball-hog mode, taking 41 shots. While scoring 34 points, he missed a staggering 25 shots. Some star players don't even shoot 25 times in a two-game span.

So, Laker fans, do you really think that, with an ancient point guard vulnerable to body breakdowns and a erratic ball hog, this team is going to beat out Oklahoma City or San Antonio or the Clippers or Memphis for the Western Conference championship?

Dream on, Laker fans, dream on