After being called "doubtful" Monday, Steve Nash has been ruled out of the Los Angeles Lakers' game Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks, reports Lakers reporter Mike Trudell. Nash is still battling a right hamstring issue, along with hip spasms.
This is no new territory for the Lakers, who spent almost the first two months of the seasons sans the point guard, but comes at a critical stretch of their season. With the Mavericks visiting on Tuesday, the Lakers find themselves going head-to-head with a team only 1.5 games behind them in the Western Conference standings.
More importantly, Los Angeles still trails the Utah Jazz and are now a half game behind them for the final playoff slot. After their game on Tuesday they will be off until Friday when the Memphis Grizzlies visit Staples Center. Mike D'Antoni has not ruled Nash out for that game, reports Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News.
A tough loss for the purple and gold, but with or without Nash they have to win ballgames from here on out. Expect more Steve Blake, and likely Chris Duhon, to fill in the point guard minutes. Though in all likelihood Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol will shoulder the responsbility to facilitate the offense and make plays as they did against the Sacramento Kings.