Shootaround Report: Steve Nash & Blake Updates, Howard Loses Shooting Contest

Yesterday, both Steve Nash and Steve Blake were ruled out of tonight’s home game against the Indiana Pacers. As expected, according to L.A. Daily News reporter Mark Medina, neither Nash nor Blake participated in the team session of this morning’s shootaround; however, Mike D’Antoni noted the progress:

“It’s subsiding a little bit,” D’Antoni said regarding Nash’s nerves in his left leg. “He can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t know if that means three days, five days, or 10 days. But he’s more upbeat today than he was yesterday.”

With Nash out, Blake would have had a great opportunity to get comfortable running the ball, but his abdominal strain has sidelined him as as spectator for much longer than originally expected. Tonight will be the eighth consecutive game with Blake’s absence, and Mark Medina reported this morning that D’Antoni is still very unclear as to Blake’s timetable.

“It’s going to be a little while,” D’Antoni said regarding Blake. “He said he felt better today. But he still feels it a little bit. He can’t feel that when he starts to practice. If he doesn’t feel it in practice, then he’ll play.”

With Nash and Blake out tonight, and Kobe Bryant listed as a game-time decision, the Lakers already have a tough matchup against the Indiana Pacers, but they may have one additional detail to worry about. According to ESPN’s Dave Mcmenamin, after Dwight Howard lost in both a free-throw and 3-point shooting contest to the L.A. Kings mascot, the star center also let it slip that he had his worst day at shootaround today.

“It was my worst day. Today was my worst day at shootaround.”

Let’s hope bad days at shootaround produce the best game-time performances. Dwight Howard’s struggle at the free-throw line has been no secret around the Lakers arena. He’s currently hovering directly below the 50 percent line. With the Steves out for another game, and Kobe listed with the flu, the Lakers, especially Dwight Howard, are going to need to figure out some way to justify the name given to the charity stripe.

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Video: Details on Nash and Blake’s injuries from yesterday’s practice

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