Steve Nash will not be in uniform for the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center. Steve Blake will start in Nash's place as the 0-2 Lakers try to pick up their first win of the season.
Nash bruised his left leg on Wednesday night in the Lakers' loss to the Portland Trailblazers. He was injured just before halftime and came back out in the second half, but he did not last long and had to limp back to the the locker room, unable to play. He appeared to be in a lot of pain as he exited the floor and while the team did not rule him out until this evening, it was always considered unlikely that he would play against the Clippers.
Blake played pretty well after Nash went out on Wednesday night, scoring seven points on 3-4 shooting and adding three assists, three rounds and two steals in 28 minutes. But while the box score might be reasonably impressive performance, it doesn't show the way that Blake was torched by Damian Lillard and his defense will be a concern again against Chris Paul.
While Nash's absence will obviously be a blow to the struggling Lakers, it is also a knock to everyone who wanted to see him take on Paul in a battle of two of the NBA's best point guards. Instead, everyone will have to wait for one of the three other Lakers versus Clippers match-ups this season.