The expectations game can be a tricky one to play.
When the Lakers acquired both Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in the span of five weeks, the expectations went from a team that could win the title, to one that should win. That's how it goes when you nab two franchise players without gutting your entire roster.
As individuals, both Nash and Howard must also do their part by playing to the levels at which they were brought in to play. Nash's combination of shooting and play-making will be depended on to help elevate the Lakers' offense. Meanwhile Howard's defense, rebounding, and power post game will be looked at as the pillar of L.A.'s paint dominance.
With the standard of play already being set for these two, exceeding what they were brought in to do becomes difficult. They are already All-NBA level performers and rising above that is a lot to ask.
This is nothing new for them, though. These two have made a career of playing above what many considered their ceilings to get to where they are today. Did anyone really think Steve Nash would have won two MVP awards? How many were really confident that Howard—even as the No. 1 pick in his draft—would become one of the top two or three players in the world at this stage of his career?
In the 2012-13 campaign, they can again reach levels that no one thought possible. Here's how...