Making the decision himself after morning practice, Steve Nash declared that he would play tonight against the New Orleans Hornets. According to Paul Coro,
“It’s not 100 percent but I feel much, much better,” Nash said. “I haven’t practiced or played but I’ve done a lot of training and I feel like it’s time.
It was as demanding as the movements but obviously when you’re in a game, it’s more unpredictable and more sustained. I feel like I can sustain it and, if not, it’s too late. I gotta go for it. I feel like, yes, I come confident and I should be fine but it’s too late to not go for it now. I feel confident to do it and I don’t have the luxury to wait until I’m absolutely certain but I’m confident.”
With the Suns falling even further behind in the race for the last spot in the playoffs in the west – the Suns are now a half-game behind the Utah Jazz for ninth and two-and-a-half games behind the Grizzlies for the eighth seed – Nash’s return (even at less than 100%) is essential. Channing Frye remains out, though he has been shooting and practicing lately and may return as early as Friday.
The Suns and Hornets play three times before the end of the season, including tonight, and Phoenix’ performance against New Orleans will go a long way toward determining the very bottom of the Western Conference postseason field. The Hornets are healthy for the first time since they last played the Suns at the end of January. Anything short of a sweep of New Orleans may mean a spot in the lottery for the second time in three years.