Earlier this week, Steve Nash said he was hopeful to get back on the court for the Lakers by Christmas Day, but apparently Christmas came early for the Lakers this year.
Not only did LA get the gift of Nash suiting for for Saturday’s game against the Golden State Warriors, but the Lakers also earned their fourth consecutive victory, this one in comeback fashion, as they mustered a fourth quarter rally, forced overtime and eventually won 118-115.
Nash, who had not played since the second game of the season with a small fracture in his left leg, put in 12 points and nine assists in 41 minutes of play. More importantly, he opened up more opportunities for his teammates, including Kobe Bryant, who enjoyed a 34-point performance.
“He should make it easier on all of them,” D’Antoni said before the win via ESPN.com. “We should find shots that are easy. … He’ll make it easier.”
Although the Lakers are on a bit of a roll, many still feel they are in desperation mode at 13-14. With Pau Gasol still out, the Lakers needed Nash to reinvigorate the offense and he did, hitting key shots, including a three-pointer to give the ream a 103-102 with less than two minutes remaining. He looked at home in D’Antoni’s fast-paced offense, which he is very accustom to after playing for the coach in Phoenix.
“The biggest thing is he’s one of the best point guards to play the game in the last 10 years, so, obviously we should be better,” D’Antoni said. “We’ll see what problems we have and try to iron them out but with Pau coming back, with him coming back, we’ve taken a step up. … We should play well immediately.”
Is this the sign of the turnaround NBA fans, and more so Laker fans, have been waiting for? We will have to wait and see, but if the Lakers’ talented stars can stay healthy, anything is possible.