At a somber Sunday shootaround, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni spoke to a couple beat reporters and a lone television camera. Although the crowd was thinner than most days, the topics of conversation were all too familiar: injuries, injures, and more injuries.
Pau Gasol will miss Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns as he continues to recover from Vertigo. Gasol suffered dizziness and was unable to complete the Lakers’ win over the Orlando Magic. Sunday will be the fourth complete game the Spaniard will miss due to the mysterious affliction.
Xavier Henry, who missed Friday’s loss in Minnesota due to a sore right knee, will also sit out the Sunday evening contest against the Suns. Henry was already playing through torn ligaments in his left wrist, but his right knee has been a cause for concern this season. Henry missed about two months with soreness in his knee, and his attacking style of play constantly exposes the 23-year-old to further injuries.
Steve Nash, who somewhat surprisingly was able to play of Friday, is a game-time decision. With Henry out and Jordan Farmar still not ready to ready to return from a groin injury, Nash will have minutes waiting for him at the backup point guard spot. However, the quick turnaround from playing in Minnesota on Friday to playing in Los Angeles on Sunday may come too soon.
After the Canadian was publicly shut down for the remainder of the season, the Lakers changed their tune and called on their 40-year-old point guard to fill in following Farmar’s groin injury. In his first action in over six weeks, Nash played more minutes than were initially expected and suffered a minor setback. Following three games on the sidelines, Nash returned the bench and contributed six assists in 15 minutes on Friday.
Nash spent the best years of his career in Phoenix, but his current teammate did not have the same experience with the Suns' organization. Regardless of whether or not Nash plays on Sunday, Kendall Marshall will start against his former team on Sunday evening.
The Suns drafted Marshall before trading him away and effectively pushing him out of the NBA. After a short stint in the NBA Development League, Marshall re-joined the league with the desperately injured Lakers reaching out to the second-year pro in December.
Despite a largely successful season with the Lakers, Marshall continues to hold a special spot in his memory for Sunday's opponents.
“It’s a business decision, and it worked out great for them,” Marshall talked about the Suns trading hims away on Sunday morning. “But at the same time, being the competitor I am, I’m still going to hold a grudge about it.”