In the afterglow of a surprising and decisive win over the Clippers, the Lakers couldn’t exactly celebrate. They were forced to take the court against the Golden State Warriors in a back-to-back situation, and Los Angeles was also without point guard Steve Nash.
Nash didn’t suit up for the game against the Warriors by “coach’s decision”, but it has been reported by Dave McMenamin that Nash will sit out “some, if not most” of LA’s back-to-backs during the course of the season. McMenamin also provides this quote from Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni on the Nash decision:
“He wants to play but he also understands that he needs to be cautious and he understands it’s the best way to go,” D’Antoni said. “Now, we can evaluate that after a couple games or whatever and we’ll see how it goes, or how he feels in December, but this early we just think this is the best for him right now and the team.”
Whether Nash will actually sit on every back-to-back this season remains to be seen, but I can’t say that I’m opposed to the idea. At 39 years old, the former MVP has a documented issue with his back, and he needs a certain level of athleticism in order to use his entire arsenal of shot creating maneuvers. LA is in a precarious position with a roster that isn’t really playoff-caliber (especially without Kobe Bryant), but with Nash as a “primary” asset despite his age.
Moving forward, sitting Nash may be the best move, but don’t be surprised if patience withers if and when the Lakers struggle.