If the Lakers are going to make the playoffs, they are going to have to do it without Steve Nash.
That shouldn’t be as surprise, Nash hasn’t set foot on a court since the calendar flipped to April due to a hamstring issue. But it was hoped, with Kobe Bryant out, he could come back. Maybe for the Lakers final game, a win-and-your-in contest against the Rockets Wednesday.
Nope. Via Kevin Ding of the OC Register.
If the Lakers beat the Rockets Wednesday, not only are they in they get the seven seed and will face the Spurs. They have a better chance of beating the Spurs in a seven game series than the Thunder — not nearly as much as some Lakers fans seem to think, their chances are still slim (to be kind), but they are better.
Problem is, the Rockets have something to play for, as well. With a win and a Golden State loss at Portland the Rockets get the six seed. If the Lakers lose and the Jazz beat the Grizzlies, the Lakers are on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
The Lakers big challenge against the Rockets is transition defense — Houston plays at the fastest pace in the league and the Lakers transition defense has been a weakness this season. If the pace is up, the Lakers are in trouble. The Rockets also run a lot of pick-and-roll and Los Angeles was spotty with that defense this season.
Getting Steve Nash back was not going to help their transition or pick-and-roll defense much anyway.