Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni may restrict the playing time of Pau Gasol and Steve Nash in the upcoming season to preserve the health of the two aging stars, D'Antoni told Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
In a wide-ranging interview, D'Antoni said he expects both Gasol and Nash to be near 100-percent health by the time training camp starts. Gasol, 33, underwent an operation in May to treat tendinitis in both knees after playing in a career-low 49 games in 2012-13.
Nash, the Lakers' 39-year-old point guard, suffered through several injuries last season: first, a broken bone in his leg in the second game of the year; then, a strained hamstring over the final month of the season. The 50 games he played in last season were the fewest for him since playing in 40 games in the 1998-99 season as a third-year player for the Dallas Mavericks, and his 6.7 assists per game were his fewest since 1999-2000. Nash recently said he is feeling much better after a productive summer.
D'Antoni said it's all in the interest of keeping the Lakers as healthy as possible after injuries derailed the team last season.
"I think Pau and Nash will be 100% before the season starts," D'Antoni said. "We'll try to go slow with them during preseason and make sure they're OK. We'll see how the season goes but maybe work with them to keep their minutes down to where it's manageable and keep them OK."