Someday, Steve Nash should have a medical textbook about him.
He’s battled back pain for years — that’s why he lays down on the sidelines — and had his face busted up a few times but has kept playing. The second half of the book would be about conditioning and eating right. The man tries harder than anyone to take care of his body, but it keeps trying to betray him.
The latest his groin pain that may be more serious than Nash lets on. He has pubic symphysis irritation — an inflammation of the joint at the front of the pelvis, a joint that really isn’t supposed to move, but is here. It’s enough trouble that it could keep him out of Sunday’s game against Orlando, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
While Steve isn’t talking about it, other players are.
“Steve is playing hurt right now,” Suns center Marcin Gortat said. “It’s not easy for Steve right now and every night he is playing against a guy who is at least 10 years younger than him. We’ve got to help Steve. Steve is doing a great job for us as a leader.”
The Suns remain the nine seed in the West, 1.5 games back of Memphis for the final playoff spot. However, the Grizzlies are hot and would be hard to catch. They are 3 back of an up-and-down Hornets team, 3.5 back of Portland.
So long as their playoff chances are alive Nash is going to keep playing as much as he can. He can undergo physical therapy and take anti-inflammatory medications. But the only real treatment for pubic symphysis irritation rest. And that may not come until the Suns are eliminated.
The Detroit Pistons’ playoff dreams hinged on them being able to hang around until point guard Reggie Jackson got back from this thumb and knee injuries. They have done just that — the Pistons are 11-10 and would be the eighth seed if the playoffs started today.
And now they get Jackson back. Stan Van Gundy made the announcement Sunday at shootaround, before the team takes on the Orlando Magic.
It will take a few games to get his conditioning back, but this is huge for Detroit. Jackson running the pick-and-roll with Andre Drummond is at the heart of Detroit’s offense – the Pistons were 2.3 points per 100 possessions better with the ball in his hands. Ish Smith played well for the Pistons in his absence — 10.8 points per game, 6.4 assists, and he’s been solid. Move his playmaking to the second unit and suddenly the Pistons become a lot more dangerous.
The scouting report on Jakob Poeltl coming out of Utah said he could run the floor well and he was a good finisher around the rim.
But we didn’t expect this.
During the Raptors win Sunday against the stumbling Hawks, Poeltl filled the lane on the break, got the rock, and nobody was going to stop that finish. Least of all Tim Hardaway Jr., he just ends up in the poster.
Entering free agency last July, Hassan Whiteside said his first choice was to stay in Miami — then Pat Riley gave him 98 million reasons to stick around. While the Heat have been up and down this season, Whiteside has thrived as the franchise player in Miami.
Last July he also met with Dallas, but it turns out that was not his second choice. Here is what Whiteside told Erik Gunderson of the Miami Herald before his team fell to the Blazers on Saturday.
“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said at the team’s Saturday shootaround in Portland. “I would have came here.”
Interesting. There were reports the Blazers chased Whiteside, but it didn’t seem that serious. Apparently, it was. If The Blazers got Whiteside, would they still have spent $70 million on Evan Turner? Probably not. And suddenly a lot of things look better in Portland.
For Blazers fans, watching their team try to outscore opponents while playing terrible defense this season — in part because of a lack of rim protection behind their undersized guards — it’s easy to imagine how much Whiteside would have changed the picture in the Northwest. But at this point, that’s just fan fiction.
JaVale McGree has become a solid contributor for the Warriors off the bench, giving them a needed shot blocking presence. He’s not getting a ton of run (seven minutes a night), but he’s efficient when he’s out there.
Still, there is his reputation as the guy most likely to end up on Shaqtin’ a Fool. He hasn’t done anything like that for a while… until Saturday night, when after a made free throw he tried to inbound the ball for the Suns for a second.
The Warriors bench was laughing under their shirts and towels.