I heard Steve Nash is planning to make a surprise return to the Lakers' lineup for tonight's game, which immediately reminded me of this classic:
Last week, Mike D'Antoni told reporters that Nash wouldn't play for the rest of this season, but suddenly the 40-year-old future hall-of-famer is ready to go for a walk again.
It's hard not to suspect that Nash's return is, in part, a response to the backlash he's received after his "I'm not going to retire because I want the money" comment in a video published on Grantland.com. Of course, simple necessity may also be driving his decision. Jordan Farmar injured his groin on Monday and will miss the next two weeks at minimum; he could be sidelined for the rest of the year. That leaves Kendall Marshall (42%) as the only healthy point guard on the Lakers' roster. Of course, that hasn't been a guarantee of production or even playing time; Marshall played just 23 minutes
Don't expect much out of Nash (35% owned), who has barely played this year and who is, after all, 40 years old. But there are almost certainly worse things you can do with a roster spot for the last three weeks of the season. The Lakers are also expecting Nick Young (28%) and Jordan Hill (10%) to be available for Friday's game. Of the three, Young is the one to claim first.
Picks for the Week
Brandon Knight (79%): Knight has really picked up his scoring recently, and has dropped 20 or more points in seven of eight games.
Dion Waiters (66%): In the two games since Kyrie Irving's latest injury, Waiters has posted a double-double and tied his career-high in scoring. (And people think he and Irving are a bad fit.) Irving will be out for at least a couple of weeks and maybe the rest of the season; Waiters will get a significant boost in his absence.
J.J. Redick (37%): Back practicing with the team and could be cleared to play this weekend. Proceed with caution - as of last week, the Clippers were actively considering shutting Redick down until the playoffs.
Kelly Olynyk (31%): Boston's rookie big man is finishing strong, averaging 12.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.0 block in his last ten games, while shooting over 50 percent from the floor, 45 percent from three (on two attempts per game) and over 83 percent from the line.
Drew Gooden (17%): Veteran has been a very valuable pickup in Nene's absence - he gave the Wizards 18 points and nine boards in just 26 minutes off the bench on Thursday.
Gorgui Dieng (15%): Posting excellent numbers while filling in for the injured Nikola Pekovic, posting two double-doubles and then a twenty-and-twenty on Thursday night. Pek is day-to-day, so don't count on this continuing for too long. But Pek also misses time pretty regularly, so stashing Dieng on the bench would make a lot of sense.
Matthew Dellavedova (1%): Will get a significant increase in responsibility while Kyrie Irving is out. Posted his first career double-double (11 points, 10 assists) and added four rebounds in Thursday's game.
Cole Aldrich (0%): According to ESPN's Ian Begley, the Knick players Phil Jackson really likes are Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler (duh), Iman Shumpert and... Cole Aldrich? I guess if you squint... a lot... you can see a little of Luc Longley in Aldrich's game; it wouldn't be a big surprise if he gets an extended look-see as the season winds down.
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