The LA Lakers have had to endure a terrible start to 2014 so far. The team recorded just their fourth victory of the year on Wednesday to snap a seven game losing streak.
It took a bizarre ruling for the short-handed Lakers to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers this week but now with Steve Nash and Steve Blake returning to the lineup, there is a little more hope around the team.
"When Steve Blake comes back, the whole atmosphere changes," coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Last year, that was the guy that came back that got us on our run last year. He comes back now, and makes the two daggers at the end of the game."
Steve Nash is also celebrating his 40th birthday today.
Although a playoff run is unlikely for the Lakers, a second consecutive road win will boost the team's confidence ahead of the All-Star break.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers are also struggling and have lost 14 of their last 17 including Wednesday's defeat to the Boston Celtics.
"We just weren't able to get over the hump," coach Brett Brown lamented to the team's official website. "Give credit to the Celtics defense, but I think I need to do a better job with some of the things that we need to execute and do better when it's crunch time."
Interestingly, the two teams are both third from bottom in their own conferences and are perhaps just a few slips away from backing into a high draft pick. Both coaches however seem to be doing their best to make good of a terrible situation.
Jordan Farmar, Nick Young, Pau Gasol, Jodie Meeks, Kobe Bryant and Xavier Henry are all still out for the Lakers whilst the 76ers are without Jason Richardson, Arnett Moultrie, Brandon Davies and Nerlens Noel.