Steve Nash: Lakers PG Will Thrive with Dwight Howard Under Mike D'Antoni
Mike D'Antoni is making it no secret that he expects the Los Angeles Lakers to explode this season under his watch.
As he gets set to coach his first game with the Lakers, he's already said he anticipates the team averaging 110 to 115 points per game, via Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
He also said, via Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, "I expect Dwight Howard -- as soon as he gets healthy, because he's not healthy right now -- to be unstoppable. And I don't care what they do, they're not stopping him."
And he expects Steve Nash, his favorite point guard in the whole wide world, to run the "Seven Seconds or Less" offense.
Cue the carousel because the Lakers are going to be running circles around their opponents.
Whether you believe D'Antoni is the right man for the job or not (some think hiring an offensive-minded coach wasn't the right move due to Los Angeles' ailing defense), what no one can argue is that the Lakers are going to score a lot of points and they are going to shoot a lot.
Whether they outscore opponents is still up for debate, but this is a dream come true for Nash, who left a Phoenix Suns organization he clearly loved dearly, only to see his former coach follow him to Los Angeles.
D'Antoni and Nash have already shown what they can do together. In his first two seasons under D'Antoni in Phoenix, Nash won the MVP. He averaged 15.5 points and 11.5 assists in the 2004-2005 season as D'Antoni won Coach of the Year, and he averaged 18.8 points and 10.5 assists in the 2005-2006 season. The Suns went to the Western Conference Finals in both of those years.
The difference in Los Angeles is that Nash has never had a pick-and-roll partner as talented or explosive as Howard (sorry, Amar'e Stoudemire) and he also has the second-best shooting guard in NBA history on his team.
Will the Lakers average 110 to 115 points under D'Antoni this season?
While 110 to 115 points per game may seem grandiose, it really isn't with Nash in charge. Just look at the Suns' scoring averages before last season and you know just how explosive any offense can be when Nash controls it.
There is, of course, the issue about team chemistry with Bryant, Howard and Nash all on the same team, but, as one of the greatest point guards of all time, Nash has a way of navigating his way through any pitfalls. He's been able to seamlessly get players to work in complete unison throughout the years, and putting him under a coach who lets him go to work is the perfect scenario for the eight-time All-Star.
So, as the entire NBA awaits D'Antoni and Nash's first game together in L.A., get ready to see some fireworks.
One thing's for sure: The Lakers won't be a boring basketball team this season.
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