“It’s always a game-time decision right now, but hopefully I can play tonight,” Steve Nash offered the only positive news at Los Angeles Lakers morning shootaround.
Chris Kaman was out due to a leg issue that did not allow him to play on Wednesday in Sacramento. Pau Gasol, who was trapped in his hotel room with vertigo on Wednesday, was also ruled out. Gasol’s season was in jeopardy depending on how quickly the effects of his peculiar affliction passed. With only seven games remaining in the season, Gasol coming back did not make a whole lot of sense.
Gasol’s season may possibly be over, but Xavier Henry’s season was officially over. The explosive shooting guard was in a somber mood when talking to reporters on Friday morning.
“He tried to battle through. He’s done a great job, and your heart goes out to him,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said about Henry. “He’s only 23 years old. He’s learning.”
The coach said Henry was an NBA-level player “without a doubt,” something he admitted was in question at the start of the season.
“Yea, I feel like I’ve shown what I wanted to do,” Henry responded when asked about his time on the court. “I can compete with all the guys. I mean, I always knew I could. It was just the opportunity to go out there and play. I got that opportunity this year, and I had fun doing it.”
With Henry, Gasol and Kaman out against the Mavericks, the Lakers expect to lineup with the same starting five that played in Sacramento: Kendall Marshall, Jodie Meeks, Kent Bazemore, Ryan Kelly and Jordan Hill.
Off the bench, Nash expects to play on Friday night, but the Canadian was not shy about sharing his thoughts on his future.
Nash believed Friday night would be his last game of the season.
Jordan Farmar, who is sidelined with a groin injury, expects to be back on Tuesday. With an early game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, the 40-year-old point guard did not expect to play with the short turnaround. Once Farmar returns, the plan is to shut down the aging point guard, who is only 12 assists shy of Mark Jackson on the all-time assists lists.
For Nash, like the Lakers, next season is full of questions. Friday, however, was a rare game when the point guard's status was not considered questionable. Whether Friday night will be the final game in Nash's Hall-of-Fame career, though, is just that: questionable.