Steve Nash

Believe it or not, there was a time when this Suns season was starting to go well — in the season opener.

After a sluggish first half against New Orleans, the Suns took command with 18 points in the first six minutes of the second half as Steve Nash made his first four shots.

It also might have been their worst stretch thus far. During that span, Nash fouled Greivis Vasquez on a 3-point play and took a Vasquez shoulder into his ribs as he jumped into Vasquez. Shortly thereafter, Nash grimaced and asked out of the game. A week later, Nash still is not right, and his 7-for-29 shooting since that game reflects the pain he has endured from the bruised rib.

Nash said it improves nightly with medication, but in each game he inevitably takes a blow to the left-rib-cage area and aggravates it. The intercostal muscles in the rib cage allow it to expand and drop during breathing.

“It’s like I’m holding my breath a lot,” Nash said. “I’m tired a lot. I’m bracing. It’s not fun.

“It’s definitely affected my shot and mobility.”

– Reported by Paul Coro of theĀ Arizona Republic