In what should be a sight for sore eyes for Lakers fans, Steve Nash took the court today at the team's El Segundo practice facility and participated in scrimmage. The impact he made on the floor could partially be summed up by teammate Dwight Howard, who told reporters after practice: "he (threw) a pass that I haven't got hit with since I've been here…not any offense to the guys who've been playing, but he made some tough passes today… Just little things like that will really help our team out." The 38-year-old veteran told reporters that he wants to test things out day-by-day and reiterated that Christmas Day's game against the Knicks is a realistic target for a return.
Sam Amick of USA Today cautions that Nash is still under considerable pain and will need some time to improve his conditioning in addition to establishing chemistry with the rest of the team. Here's more of tonight's links from Los Angeles:
- Coach Mike D'Antoni offered his thoughts on Nash after team practice today: "He looked good today. Real good. You never know how he wakes up. But the first step was positive. He looks good on the floor. He said he felt good. We'll see if he can do it again tomorrow and keep building from there" (Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles reports).
- Shelburne and ESPN's Arash Markazi both opined about whether or not Nash will be the answer to the team's problems.
- Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times presents a rebuttal against ESPN's Chris Broussard (Insiders only), who recently wrote that the Lakers' issues are centered on Kobe Bryant's high volume of shot attempts.
- Eric Patten of NBA.com talks about the emergence of Clippers forward Matt Barnes as an invaluable role player on both sides of the floor.