During the 2012-13 season Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash never seemed like himself. Despite being back in head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system where he thrived for years, Nash never got comfortable during his first season with the Lakers. As a result, reports have now surfaced that suggest Nash could be put on a strict minutes limit during the 2013-14 season.
During his first year in Los Angeles, Nash played in 50 games and averaged 12.7 points, 6.7 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 2.5 turnovers in 32.5 minutes per game. His 6.7 assists were far below the 10.7 he averaged during the 2011-12 season before with the Phoenix Suns.
In the second year of his experiment with the Lakers most are expecting his numbers to return to where they were before, but Lakers trainer Gary Vitti suggested that Nash will likely have to be on a minutes limit and would benefit from occasional rest as well.
Vitti had the following to say about Nash:
“He might be a guy that would be better off reducing his minutes. Because he wasn’t himself last year, let’s see what he’s like in camp. We’re not going to beat the guy up.”
Nash has been recovering from leg and hamstring injuries he dealt with for most of last season, but he appears to be completely recovered. That said, it would probably be smart for the Lakers to monitor his minutes closely, since he’s not getting any younger.
Last year Los Angeles was woefully thin at the point guard spot. This year they’ve got both Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar on board to spell Nash, which means they won’t suffer as much of a drop off as last season. While Blake was around for the 2012-13 season, he missed a ton of time due to injury and wasn’t himself when he did play.
This year the Lakers have more depth than they did last season and should be better equipped to give Nash some rest.