Steve Nash has a small fracture in his left leg and will be out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup for at least another week.
The Lakers announced the results of their point guard’s MRI exam Saturday, throwing yet another complication into their dismaying start to the season.
Nash got hurt in a collision with Damian Lillard on Wednesday night, bumping legs with the Portland rookie in the second quarter. The two-time NBA MVP attempted to keep playing in the second half, but quickly left the game again.
Nash missed the Lakers’ 105-95 loss to the Clippers on Friday night, dropping the Lakers to 0-3 for the first time in 34 years and just the fourth time in franchise history. The Lakers host Detroit on Sunday night.
The Lakers initially announced Nash had simply bruised his leg, but the MRI exam revealed a small fracture on the head of his fibula. Such injuries vary widely in their severity, and the Lakers will re-evaluate Nash next weekend.
Coach Mike Brown acknowledges Nash is the key to the Princeton-style offensive sets installed by the Lakers this fall, but the star guard looked just as uncomfortable as his teammates in that offense during the Lakers’ 0-8 preseason and again in the regular season.
The Lakers have committed 59 turnovers in their three games, including 20 against the Clippers.
”For us, I guess it’s been the same song the last couple of games,” Brown said Friday night. ”We played well in stretches, moved the ball well, moved our bodies well, we get great looks, and then we get bogged down by turnovers. … We gave ourselves 20 less opportunities to get a bucket. It negates everything else that you’ve done out there.”
The 38-year-old Nash joined the Lakers last July for his 17th NBA season, agreeing to a three-year, $27 million contract before his trade from Phoenix. He embraced his role as a facilitator with the Lakers, committing himself to setting up Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard in Brown’s motion offense.
Nash’s backup is veteran Steve Blake, who had two assists, three turnovers and eight points in 39 minutes against the Clippers while Chris Paul racked up 15 assists – the same number of assists as the entire Lakers roster.
Darius Morris scored seven points in 13 minutes as Blake’s backup against the Clippers, and veteran newcomer Chris Duhon also is available to Brown.
The Lakers had the day off Saturday. At least their schedule is friendly to Nash’s recovery: Seven of their next eight games are at home, with only a one-game trip to Utah before Nov. 21.