Lakers News: Steve Nash Felt Slight Tweak In His Hamstring

UPDATE (12:24 PM): Steve Nash is a game-time decision on Sunday via LA Times’ Mike Bresnahan:

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Steve Nash came off the bench for the first time since the 1999-2000 season and logged 19 minutes, which was more than Mike D’Antoni stated the 40-year-old point guard would play. Nash last played on Feb. 11 when he was able to play through the first two quarters, but was unable to play in the second half due to lingering injury issues.

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As the oldest player in the NBA, Nash didn’t appear to be too limited in Friday’s loss to the Washington Wizards as he handed out a team-high 11 assists. D’Antoni credited Nash’s ability to help the ball move on offense, which the coach believes leads to more defensive activity.

According to Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding, Nash’s performance may earn him a start on Sunday:

Nash has been the focus of scrutiny in recent weeks in large part due to his candid remark that he is motivated by his $9.7 million salary to return next season. Prior to Thursday, it was generally believed Nash, like Kobe Bryant, was set to sit out the remainder of the season. D’Antoni declared as much, but an official announcement never came from the Lakers and Nash was pushed into action in response to Jordan Farmar’s hamstring injury.

While Nash was able to play more than the projected minutes, it may have come at a cost, according to Ding:

With 14 games remaining, the Lakers will likely continue to monitor Nash’s minutes and may be forced to reduce them to avoid another injury. Nash is averaging 7.6 points and 4.7 assists per game, which are well below his career averages of 14.3 points and 4.7 assists.

Since arriving in Los Angeles, the aging point guard has spent more time in a suit than a Lakers uniform and is at risk of being waived this summer via the stretch provision. While the Lakers haven’t spoken publicly on the matter, Nash can increase the likelihood of remaining with the team if he is able to replicate Friday’s play moving forward.
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VIDEO: Mike D’Antoni On Expectations For Steve Nash And Future

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