As we pretty much all expected, Steve Nash will not suit up for the Lakers Friday night against the Clippers, the contusion on his shin still limiting movement too much, Lakers coach Mike Brown confirmed before the game on Friday.
Steve Blake will start, and Brown said both Chris Duhon and Darius Morris could see minutes off the bench behind Blake.
Awaiting the Blake/Duhon/Morris trio are Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe (who has Vinny Del Negro saying he’s frustrated he can’t find him more minutes because he is playing so well). This should really ease all the fears of Lakers fans.
The bigger issue for the Lakers is this setback also slows their assimilation of Blake with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and the hybrid Princeton offense they are trying to run. It’s obvious to the backup guard on a junior high team that the Lakers have no comfort or flow in the offense right now, but the only way they are going to get it is time on the court. And Friday night they are not getting that. And it may be a while longer (Brown said he did not know when Nash could return to practices and games).
Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs
Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:
Dwight Howard just told us on Texans Radio that he played through a torn MCL and meniscus during the WCF vs the Warriors
It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.
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