News broke yesterday that Los Angeles Lakers veteran Steve Nash is set to miss the entirety of the 2014-15 NBA season with a persistent back injury looking to have taken its tole on the two-time NBA MVP.
With Nash having admitted over the summer that the upcoming season looked destined to be his last as a pro the immediate aftermath of the injury announcement led to an outpouring of praise and respect for the Canadian in honor of his impact on the game over the past couple of decades.
But the Los Angeles Lakers, now a man light on the eve of what was already looking like a difficult campaign, do not have the luxury of focussing on the past. Byron Scott must find an answer to the latest blow to affect the famous purple and gold franchise, and the former Showtime star turned head coach has intermitted that one player could be set to benefit from Nash's season-ending injury.
Despite Ronnie Price having deputised for Steve Nash for the majority of the Lakers' preseason as the latter dealt with what we now know were serious injury concerns, Scott has today opened the door for former Houston Rockets and New York Knicks man Jeremy Lin to take on Nash's role as starting point guard.
As alluded to by Lakers beat writer Mark Medina, while Ronnie Price may continue his role as starting point guard in the franchise's final preseason game tonight versus the Sacramento Kings, Lin is now a legitimate contender for the position with Scott describing the situation as "fluid."
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This update from Scott marks a shift in thinking from earlier in the offseason. As recently as September Scott outlined his plans for Jeremy Lin to take on an important scoring role from the bench.
Clearly though on the back of Steve Nash's issues that plan has changed.
And if Lin can continue to impress Scott and his teammates then there seems no reason now why he cannot regain that NBA starting role that has deceived him since his first season in Houston. Even if that will limit LA's impact from the bench going forward.