Los Angeles Lakers: Dwight Howard Is Nice, but Steve Nash Is Still Key
There's no denying the positive impact the 6'11'' center can have on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, but the biggest acquisition of this offseason would still have to be 16-year veteran Steve Nash.
The 38-year-old will be playing the vital role of bringing the ball up the court and getting Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Howard involved.
Bryant can drop 40 on any given night, Gasol may be the most complete big man in the game and Howard is used to touching the ball on most possessions.
Nash has the court vision to find the open man, dish inside or drive to the hoop. In seven of his last eight seasons, Nash has averaged 10-plus assists per game (9.7 in 2008-09).
Nash averaged 10.7 assists per game last season—second to Rajon Rondo—where Marcin Gortat was his main offensive weapon. No offense to Gortat, but Nash will have more options in L.A.
Howard may be better than the recently departed Andrew Bynum, but the difference isn't astronomical by any means. If you look at the numbers (20.6 PPG, 14.5 RPG, 2.2 BPG for Howard, 18.7 PPG, 11.8 RPG, 1.9 BPG for Bynum), Bynum nearly matched Howard's production—while sharing the ball with Kobe Bryant.
The problem for the Lakers for the last number of years has been at the point guard position. Since Jordan Farmar left, L.A. has been extremely weak at the 1.
Russell Westbrook torched them last year, while Chris Paul nearly single-handedly knocked them out of the playoffs the year prior; an aging Jason Kidd had the honors in the end.
Howard is an upgrade; Nash will usher in an NBA Finals appearance.
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