April 20, 2013

NBA Notebook: Nash eager to get back in lineup

The Associated Press

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - After every misfortune and injury setback during the most frustrating season of his career, Steve Nash only wants to finish the year on the court with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Nash said he is "very confident" he will return from a hamstring injury for Los Angeles' playoff opener at San Antonio on Sunday, hopefully adding another major contributor to the Lakers' late-season surge.

The two-time NBA MVP practiced with his teammates at their training complex Friday. Nash missed Los Angeles' final eight games with the latest injury in a year that began with a broken leg in the second game.

"I just don't want to overpromise and get ahead of myself," Nash said. "The last almost three weeks now, I wake up every morning, thinking, 'Today's the day,' and then I want to hang myself after practice, so I don't want to overpromise."

Nash hasn't been able to run at full speed, a serious problem for a floor leader with a game predicated on movement and anticipation. But after receiving recent epidural injections, Nash believes he can be in the starting lineup when the seventh-seeded Lakers open in San Antonio.

In his first season with the Lakers, Nash was limited to just 50 games, the lowest total in a non-lockout season in his 17-year NBA career.

BULLS: Center Joakim Noah's status for the first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets is in question because of his injured right foot.

Coach Tom Thibodeau called him day to day for the series.

GRIZZLIES: Prominent Memphis lawyer and developer Jason Wexler has been hired as chief operation officer of business operations for the team and the FedExForum.

PISTONS: Detroit won a tiebreaker with Washington, giving it slightly better odds to finish with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

Both teams finished 29-53 this season. The Pistons will have 36 chances out of 1,000 heading into next month's lottery and Washington will have 35.

2015 ALL-STAR WEEKEND: The NBA is considering splitting the festivities between the Knicks' facilty of Madison Square Garden and the Nets' Barclays Center.

CAVALIERS: Former Cleveland coach Mike Brown is among the candidates the team intends to speak with as it looks to replace Byron Scott, who went 64-166 in three seasons.

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