Skip to content

Lakers trainer hints Steve Nash should be on minutes cap next season

Jun 14, 2013, 11:00 PM EDT

Steve Nash AP

Well, it seemed obvious to the rest of us, too.

Steve Nash, at age 39 with a chronically bad back and coming off a broken fibula, didn’t exactly get to take it easy this season. His minutes per game increased to 32.5, up from the season before in Phoenix. When the Lakers were making their push to get in the playoffs there were plenty of 35 to 37 minute nights. Mike D’Antoni looked at his bench and played Kobe Bryant, Nash and his other key guys heavy minutes.

Lakers trainer Gary Vitti sat down and talked to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell in a fascinating piece where they talk about a lot of things, including the minutes impact on Kobe’s Achilles injury.

Vitti hints at the idea Nash should be on a minutes limit next year.

“I think he’s going to come back in great shape, and then it’s all about how he’s used. You don’t want to beat him up in practice. Save it for the game, figure out the appropriate minutes that put him in a successful situation. The example I use is Robert Horry, where we played him a lot of minutes, and it was difficult for him to recover and be productive at his age. But he goes to San Antonio, plays 18 minutes a game, and the guy was an unbelievable force off the bench for them. I think if we figure out how best to use Steve, he can be the same way.”

Back in 2003 the Lakers played a 32-year-old Horry 29.3 minutes a game, and he did struggle shooting 38.7 percent overall, 28.8 percent from three and with a PER of 12.4. The next season the Spurs cut him back to 15.9 minutes a game off the bench, he shoots 40.5 percent overall and 38 percent from three with a PER up to 14.5.

There’s a lot more to work out for the Lakers. They had Nash working off the ball more with Kobe last season, do things stay that way or will Nash have the ball in his hands more? Who will be the backups at the guard spots? When does Kobe return, and how does his absence for part of the season impact what they do on offense? (Oh, and that Dwight thing needs to be worked out, too.)

On top of all that, D’Antoni has to find a way to keep the minutes under control for his best players. Have fun with that.

Latest Posts
  1. LeBron’s 30-point performance leads Cavaliers to hard-fought Game 2 win over Celtics

    Apr 21, 2015, 10:00 PM EDT

    Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Two Getty Images

    LeBron had 30, Kyrie Irving added 26 to give Cleveland the 2-0 lead in the series.

  2. Chandler Parsons out for Game 2, maybe rest of Rockets series

    Apr 21, 2015, 9:41 PM EDT

    Devin Harris, Chandler Parsons, Trevor Ariza AP

    Devin Harris also out Game 2 for Mavericks

  3. Nikola Mirotic could miss Game 3 against Bucks

    Apr 21, 2015, 8:00 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls - Game Two Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls - Game Two

    Bulls forward strained knee in scuffle with Zaza Pachulia

  4. PBT Extra matchups to watch: Spurs look for ways to contain Chris Paul

    Apr 21, 2015, 7:15 PM EDT

    Expect to see a lot more Kawhi Leonard (and Danny Green) on Paul from the start.

  5. Report: Suns’ Morris twins charged with aggravated assault

    Apr 21, 2015, 4:51 PM EDT

    Phoenix Suns Media Day Getty Images

    The twins were allegedly part of a group that beat up a man outside a rec league basketball tournament.

  6. Hawks’ Al Horford says he will play in Game 2 despite finger injury

    Apr 21, 2015, 4:14 PM EDT

    Al Horford AP

    Horford is going to have work to do on the defensive end slowing down Brook Lopez.

  7. Brilliant spoof: Zach Randolph’s deep thoughts on cats, shirts, more

    Apr 21, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    Zach Randolph AP

    Well done, Zach Randolph and the Memphis Grizzlies.

  8. Nets list Mirza Teletovic as ‘probable’ for Game 2 vs. Hawks

    Apr 21, 2015, 2:43 PM EDT

    Brooklyn Nets v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

    Teletovic was originally ruled out for the season on Jan. 23.

  9. Report: Spurs might get a free agent meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge

    Apr 21, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers Getty Images

    Another report has Aldridge at no better than 50-50 to re-sign with the Blazers.

  10. Raptors’ Lou Williams: ‘Staying in Toronto would be ideal for me’

    Apr 21, 2015, 11:10 AM EDT

    Toronto Raptors v Charlotte Hornets Getty Images

    Williams will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Featured video

Mavericks need to contain Dwight Howard in Game 2
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. C. Parsons (5908)
  2. D. Rose (5858)
  3. K. Durant (5467)
  4. P. George (5396)
  5. T. Splitter (5051)
  1. M. Conley (4996)
  2. L. James (4900)
  3. D. Lee (4848)
  4. K. Bryant (4697)
  5. S. Curry (4588)