Lakers Half-Way to New Start

With Phil Jackson firmly ensconced in New York, the filter effect of every move the Lakers make being compared to what Phil would have done, is now over. The belief that he will be back, and soon, has now passed, and while getting him back would likely have been a very good thing, the chances of that ever happening were always extremely slim, and the team and its management and its fans can now look to a realistic future, led by someone other than Phil.

But that is only one half of the filter problem. The other piece appeared to have resolved itself a few weeks ago when it was announced that the seldom-present but always thought



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of Steve Nash would not play again this season. Misdirection, mistake, or lie, it came to pass that, lo and behold, Nash underwent a miracle cure, and returned to the lineup last Friday. However, his one game playing streak also is likely to have ended on Friday, with Nash and his ancient, decrepit body suffering yet another aggravation of lingering injuries. What he suffered Friday was a re-occurrence of what was called a hamstring injury, but what really is an aggravation of the nerve root irritation that radiates down his legs from the actual injury site in his lumbar spine.

Mike D’Antoni says there is a chance he might play today, and it is that type of constant thought that is keeping the Lakers from actually improving – like with Phil, it is the belief that the savior will ride in on a white horse any minute now, and bring victory along.

As happened when Phil signed with the Knicks, the Lakers need to make a total break with Nash, once and for all, and move on. Yet another injury to Jordan Farmar and the trade of Steve Blake make the team again woefully thin at point guard, but playing Kendall Marshall 40 minutes and using an out-of-position backup is better then continuing to imagine what it will be like, perhaps tomorrow,

when Nash returns.

In the actual bad news department, Xavier Henry, who has been playing extremely well since his recent return from a leg injury, has now suffered a torn ligament in his wrist, and while there is no official word from the team, it would seem that his season is likely over.

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