Well, for those of you who are unfamiliar with my sports teams, let me just catch everyone up. I was born in Illinois and grew up in Indiana, but I grew to love other teams based on simple characteristics.
My MLB team is the Chicago Cubs, and while I am not one of the "maybe next year" type of fans, I do firmly believe the Cubs will win a World Series before I die. However, I may have to live another hundred years to see it. #WeBelieve!
My NFL teams are the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Ravens. This is one of those random teams I love. But it's simple. I grew up loving the way they played defense and have been a HUGE fan ever since.
So with all of that out of the way, I guess it is time for me to throw in my two cents' worth on the Steve Nash to Los Angeles Lakers trade that went down on the Fourth of July.
I guess all I can really say is...I LOVE IT!
We (Laker fans) have been waiting for Mitch Kupchak to do something with the Lamar Odom trade exception.
For over a year now, we've heard, "We didn't deal Odom for nothing. There is a plan in the works." And while I don't think anyone believed there actually was a plan "in the works" I did believe that they were going to use it for something big (Dwight Howard). We didn't use it with D12, but we got a two-time MVP...yeah, that's ok. Couldn't be happier as a fan.
Now my questions are, can the Lakers win a title with this group? Do they need to make more upgrades? Do they need to swing a deal for Dwight Howard?
My simple answers are: No. Yes. No.
I do not believe the Lakers can win with this group. Can they win with Nash, Bryant, World Peace, Gasol, and Howard? Yes, they can. But in today's game, teams need a solid bench.
The Thunder were the deepest team in the league, and the Spurs were the second deepest. As for the Heat, many said that they didn't have a bench, but they did. Their bench stepped up. Haslem played well, and Mike Miller played well.
Steve Blake, Matt Barnes, and Jordan Hill aren't going to cut it.
Steve Nash is 38 and he hasn't played more than 35 minutes a game since 2006-2007. He rests his back a lot. Steve Blake may not be the point guard to shoulder that many minutes. Nash played 31 last year. That is 17 minutes a game that Blake has to play.
While it doesn't seem like a lot, it is. Because when a team loses a lead, the coach will put Gasol and Bynum and Kobe back in, but not Nash.
Steve Nash, no matter what, has always stuck to his regular routine of sitting. An upgrade at point may be important. Darius Morris will be back, and while he didn't play much his rookie year and is still quite green, he may be good competition for the back up.
Finally, do the Lakers need Dwight Howard?
No! It would be nice to have him, but if the Lakers have to give up too much and if he doesn't sign the extension and continues to be the drama queen he has turned into, then no! Forget about him and move on.
The Lakers have the SECOND-BEST CENTER IN THE LEAGUE. Not in the Pacific Division, not in Los Angeles, not even in the Western Conference, but in THE LEAGUE! He is two years younger and will be a MONSTER with someone like Steve Nash throwing him lobs and playing off the pick-and-roll.
This team can win with Gasol and Bynum, fans.
Jordan Hill needs to come back.
I'm worried that he probably won't and the Lakers will need a backup plan. What is it?
My guess is Antawn Jamison. He is old and isn't a great defender, but he rebounds nicely and spaces the floor. Last season he scored 17 points per game on 40 percent shooting, and pulled down seven rebounds per game. That is good for someone that would be playing behind Pau Gasol.
Well then. The next question is, are the Lakers getting too old?
Is it a problem?
Look at the Celtics. They were older than Father Time himself last season and were one win away from the Finals. As long as a team works hard, has depth, and plays STRONG defense, they can go a long way.
If the Lakers play good team defense, and get some good depth, then no matter their age, they can win.
They have to stay healthy and play with a sense of urgency. We can't watch this team compete on some nights and then throw in the towel on others. Mike Brown has to get these guys to play hard every night like he did when he was in Cleveland.
Steve Nash will bring a lot to this team and expect to see them in the Western Conference Finals next year. I think they will finish second in the Western Conference and will see the Thunder next year in the conference finals.