Should Lakers Follow Spurs’ Lead and Give Kobe, Nash Time off Before Playoffs?

Los Angeles Lakers fans probably just assume we should skip the regular season and get to the good stuff. 

All but crowned the 2012-13 Western Conference Champions, the assumptions that this club will find itself in the NBA Finals this season are perfectly understandable. These kind of rosters don't come along often—even in L.A.

Reality is a stubborn thing, though, and the regular season will keep the Lakers plenty occupied until things get interesting postseason-style. While the interim represents an important opportunity for the new-look roster to gel, it also poses some difficult questions, especially for head coach Mike Brown.

Front and center among those questions is the extent to which Brown should rest aging superstars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.

Bryant turned 34 this summer, and Nash will turn 39 on Feb. 7. 

There's no question that both keep themselves in the kind of shape envied by more than a few players still in their 20s, but Kobe's litany of preseason bumps and bruises prove that no amount of preparation can fully prevent injury. That's true of players at any age.

It's all the more true for guys who've put their legs through 16 NBA seasons and plenty of playoff appearances.

Sitting atop the standings at the outset of the playoffs would be nice, but having a healthy and rested starting five would be even nicer.

Bryant acknowledged the impact of fatigue last season, one in which a lockout-condensed schedule and his 38.5 minutes a game formed a perfect storm of wear and tear. Kobe himself remained healthy into the postseason, likely thanks in no small part to the eight games he sat out in March on account of minor ailments.

Meanwhile, there was some uncertainty about what exactly was going on with Nash's back. 

In April, the New York Post's Peter Vecsey cited sources claiming, "Steve Nash&rsqu...

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