Steve Nash will start on Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz.
Coming into Tuesday, the Lakers’ 40-year-old point guard was considered questionable to take part in Tuesday night’s Los Angeles Lakers home game. Nash suffered some nerve irritation following a collision, but the point guard said he expected to be ready at Monday’s practice.
On Tuesday morning, Nash turned up to shootaround and confirmed that he was good to go.
With Nash starting, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni decided to make some changes to the starting lineup. Chris Kaman and Shawne Williams will start for the Lakers, the coach announced. Williams is currently on a 10-day contract after being waived just shy of the NBA’s deadline to guarantee contracts.
After a month away from the team, Williams is on day six of his 10-day contract. Prior to being waived, Williams started 11 games, so he should fit back in without issue.
While Williams was away, rookie Ryan Kelly became a regular starter. However, D’Antoni contended that the combination of Williams and Kaman was statistically better than the combination of Robert Sacre and Kelly.
Kaman, who has only started five games this season, is coming off a season-high 27 points against the Chicago Bulls. The former LA Clipper also pulled down 10 rebounds in the loss to Chicago, and fans have been publicly critical of the Lakers’ coach for not playing the 7-footer more often this season.
With Pau Gasol out injured, Kaman should play significant minutes on Tuesday night. Jordan Hill and Sacre will be on the bench and available.
After Tuesday’s loss, Kaman admitted his frustrations (video) regarding not playing more often—especially alongside Gasol—but he was adamant that he would remain professional and do his best to avoid being a distraction. Recently, the quirky 7-footer went so far as to claim indifference when asked about potentially being traded away from the Lakers.
Regardless of what the future holds for Kaman, Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz is a winnable game, even for the injured Lakers.