The injuries keep piling up for the Los Angeles Lakers, and a familiar face could find himself in street clothes once again.
Nash had missed 39 straight games before returning to the court this past Tuesday. He played well in those two games, averaging 13 points and seven assists in 26 minutes, even showcasing some of his trademark backdoor passes. We all know Nash is talented — he’s a first-ballot future Hall of Famer — but at 40 years old, injuries have caught up to him and it looks like his career is nearing a close.
The culprit on Sunday was the nerve root irritation in his back — the same ailment that has kept him out for all but nine games this season, says Lakers’ beat writer Mike Trudell:
Trudell also reports that Nash thinks it’s just a minor hiccup in his recovery process and doesn’t expect to miss any time or have to see any doctors. In fact, the 17-year vet plans on resting tonight and practicing Monday:
All this is fine and dandy, but as fantasy owners know too well, no Laker injury can be taken lightly this season. Kobe Bryant returned from a ruptured Achilles tendon, only to fracture his knee six games into his comeback. Jordan Farmar has returned from a hamstring injury three times, but has aggravated it on each occasion. Call me a little skeptical when it comes to believing anything Nash says regarding his injury at this point. Even if Nash is able to play, common sense says that he won’t be able to remain healthy for the remainder of the season.
That said, Marshall needs to be scooped up off waiver wires in all leagues — immediately. When Nash returned from his absence, the second-year guard from North Carolina was relegated back to the Lakers bench, but his performance in the month of January is what makes him a must-add player. In 15 January games, Marshall averaged 11.9 points, 11.5 assists, 1.9 steals, and 2.0 3-pointers, while racking up nine double-doubles in the process. Marshall even scored 13 points and had 11 assists in 37 minutes of pinch-hit duty during Sunday’s loss to the Bulls.
This week’s switch to the bench prompted many owners to drop him in ESPN.com fantasy leagues — 50 percent, in fact — which means he’s out there waiting to be plucked off the waiver wire.