Lakers at the Bottom of the Barrel Early: Nash Gets Hurt as L-A is 0-2

ImageWell, the Celtics certainly didn’t get off to the start we had all hoped for, but on a brighter note our arch nemesis, the Los Angeles Lakers, are on the same page and find themselves at the bottom of the Pacific division standings. To make matters worse for L-A, one of the marquee players they brought in during the off-season, point guard Steve Nash, was injured in their recent loss to the Portland Trailblazers.

The 38-year-old Nash collided with Portland Trailblazers rookie point guard Damian ImageLillard in the 2nd quarter of Wednesday nights 116 to 106 loss. Nash suffered a lower left leg contusion and was only able to play one series of the second half before being sent to the sidelines for the rest of the night.


Nash was quoted on saying “I guess I wouldn’t want to say right now, but I’m definitely hopeful” on whether he’ll be game ready for this Fridays contest against the Los Angeles Clippers.

While Laker Nation should by no means hit the panic button this early in the season, it certainly brings up two main question to consider.

1. Can the Lakers keep everybody (especially Nash) healthy? Of the Lakers starting five, only Dwight Howard (26-years-old) is under the age of 30. Kobe Bryant (34), Metta World Peace (32), and Pau Gasol (32) are all above 30 years-of-age (including the aforementioned Nash, 38). Age could play a key role in whether this L-A squad can keep everyone out on the floor and not sidelined with injuries.This will also factor in to how many wins and losses the team will produce and whether or not a post-season will be in the picture.


2. Can this Lakers offense, filled with so many different personalities, actually co-exist? When you put this year’s Los Angeles Lakers team under a sports micro-scope, you’ll see a breeding ground for one of two contagious diseases. The first is success. This Lakers squad is no doubt loaded with talent. If they can build a solid team chemistry, they could find themselves edging out the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs for a trip to the NBA Finals when it’s all said and done.

However, the second is more deadly and could lead to the Lakers demise…failure. Can Steve Nash facilitate the rock and Kobe still get his shine? Will Dwight Howard be too big of a distraction on and off the court? Will Metta World Peace stay sane long enough to actually help the team this season? Is Pau Gasol still happy to be playing in the purple and gold after numerous trade talks swarmed his psyche last year?

Alright so that was obviously more than two questions, but the 2012-2013 Lakers have a lot of question marks and sadly there is no clear answer to any of them just yet. We will simply have to wait, watch and wonder what will become of L-A this season. Until then, let us rejoice in their recent shortcomings. The C’s might be 0-1, but it beats 0-2 and are guys are healthy.

Celtics vs. Thunder Recap

The Celtics lost their fifth straight game against the Thunder 119-104. It was always going to be a struggle as the Celtics were missing Rondo (suspension), Jermaine O’Neal (Wrist), Chris Wilcox (Right Abductor), and Brandon Bass (Knee). This led to a shift in the lineup of Paul Pierce to the 4 position and Kevin Garnett to the 5. The Celtics started out well in their new lineup jumping out to a 22-12 lead in the first quarter. The Celtics could not hold the lead though, and once the second unit came onto the floor, the Thunder pounced and went on a 30-3 run. The Thunder continued the hot streak and put up the most points in a half all season (72). James Harden was constantly exposing the Celtics defense as he kept blowing by for easy layups.

Pierce actually had one of his better games of the season, by attacking the rim he got to the line 16 times, scored 23 points, and had 8 assists. Kevin Garnett in his first game back had 23 points on 8-11 shooting. Turnovers still hurt the Celtics as they committed 18 in the game. Doc ended up relying much more on his starters than he wanted to as his subs had a terrible night from the floor. Marquis Daniels was only on the court for five minutes but the Celtics were outscored by 17 during those five minutes.

The Celtics mercifully have the All-Star Break coming up this week and have a full week off until their next game against the Bucks.

Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo will be playing in the All-Star Game as reserves for the Eastern Squad.

Extra Notes:

Kevin Garnett came back after two games from missing due to personal reasons; Pavlovic was the only Celtics player who did not play due to Coaches decision; The Thunder had 50 points in the paint; James Harden was +23 while he was on the floor; The Celtics had 3 offensive rebounds, Kendrick Perkins had 5 on his own.

Avery Bradley Alert

Avery Bradley along with Paul Pierce was the only two players for the Celtics who had a positive +/- for the Celtics. Avery shot well again for a second consecutive game going 5-9 from the floor and 2-2 from the line. We also had two of my favorite Avery moments of the season. In the first half Avery got the ball off of a rebound, dribbled the full length of the court and posterized Kevin Durant. Later on in the game, it looked as if Russell Westbrook had a clear path to the bucket but was tapped by Bradley off the backboard and forced a jump ball. Avery had 5 assists and 3 blocks on the night along with his 12 points. In the games that Rondo has missed, Avery has shown Doc that he is a capable backup and definitely a player that the Celtics should be excited about in the future.

Here’s a link to the Avery bradley Dunk (must watch)

Avery Bradley Throws It Down

There’s not a whole lot to be happy about right now if you’re a Celtics fan. Pierce and Rondo will be in Orlando for the All-Star game, nice. The Celts showed signs of life and came within 8 points after being down a million last night, great. See what I’m getting at? We have to seek the little things to get some sort of joy lately. With that being said, Avery Bradley’s dunk over Kevin Durant last night can’t go unnoticed. Standing at a whole 6’2″ and weighing 180 lbs, Bradley absolutely posterized one of the league’s best players. Granted he dropped 28 points en route to smoking the Celts, I couldn’t not highlight this dunk, so we’ll just look past the C’s five game skid. Enjoy.